Hear, Obey, & Be Blessed

When you get a chance to do something that you know is obedient to God, how do you feel? When you approach a time that's set aside specifically for expressing gratitude to God, worshipping Him, are you resentful because it's intruding on or interfering with your time? Or are you thankful for the opportunity? Some of both?

The psalmist in Psalm 122 is overjoyed when he is told that the time has come to go to Jerusalem, the city built just for giving thanks to and worshipping God. What makes him so happy? Why is the thought of worship the trigger for that happiness?

In Ezra 6 we see both King Darius and Cyrus acknowledging that Jerusalem is where "the god of heaven" is to be worshipped. We don't know that they actually revered or worshipped the God who led Israel out of Egypt, but they did give up resources to support the effort of the Israelites' descendants' efforts to build the city where that God was meant to be worshipped.

In the last passage today (Luke 8:19-21), Jesus says, "My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it." Another way of putting this is that those who promptly and practically respond when they hear God speaking are closest to Jesus, are becoming more like Jesus, are blessed.

The challenge for us is to daily remember who God is, in all His beauty, power, and grace, which He generously and graciously offers to us every day. As we grow more deeply in the habit of remembering this, the more naturally we will feel the psalmist's joy when we hear an opportunity to worship and give thanks to God, obey God, and thus become a little more like Jesus.