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Weekly Devotion – John 10:18

By Mike Caton

John 10:18, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

The fact that Jesus lays down his life is one of his own choosing. The Father does not force the son to do anything. That is also true for humanity as well. When God created Adam and Eve in the very beginning, he blessed them with freedom of choice, free will. They were free to eat from any tree in the garden, except one, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God told them not to eat from it or even touch it. And yet, they chose to disobey. What a tragedy! And what a tremendous responsibility that freedom to choose is.

Jesus wanted to please his Father, to honor him. He obeyed willingly, knowing exactly what it would cost him. We need to imitate Jesus in this as well. I’m afraid that far too many are not willing to follow God that completely. They will obey up to a point, they will do what God tells them as long as they want to. But when things get hot and hard, when the desire to disobey is strong, when temptation calls out, too many simply bow down.

That kind of partial obedience is really no obedience at all. When we receive commands from the Father, we need to be willing to obey. Not simply out of a sense of loyalty, not out of a sense of fear, but out of a sense of love, gratitude, thankfulness, and respect for God. It should be our pleasure to do what God wants. Just as Jesus willingly fulfilled God’s plan, so we should too.

Father, help me be a better follower. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.

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