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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Reward of Obedience

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Author Biography

    Kimberly's been with CBN nearly five years. She lives in TN with her husband, teen son and dog. They have an adult son and beautiful daughter-in-love. They are a homeschooling family.

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Kimberly Poteet - Prayer Center Coach

I hesitated obeying God, certain I had not heard Him correctly.  

But as I prayed about ways to bless a young couple who were in financial need, I heard the same response: Get them a Chuck-E-Cheese gift card

I shook my head in disbelief, arguing that this couple needed more important things. But that original thought would not leave.  

Stepping out to follow God may make us feel fearful and even foolish at times. But as Jesus taught about discipleship, He emphasized that following Him means putting Him before everything else.

In Luke 14:26-27, Jesus said:

“If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else – your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.” (NLT)

That young couple in our Sunday school class had boldly stepped out to follow God. When the husband heard God say to quit his job, he was swift to obey. 

But in the coming weeks, I watched as that young man faced ridicule for his decision. After all, it was one thing to quit a job, but to do so without another job already secured seemed unthinkable—especially when he had a young family.

As I watched the young couple take odd jobs to pay bills, my heart broke.   

My husband and I were their small group leaders, so I prayed for them, saying something like this: “God, I know that he did the wrong thing by quitting his job before he had another one, but please have mercy on them.” 

You cannot imagine my surprise—shock actually—when I heard God say to me, He did exactly what I told him to do.

“Really?!”  I asked God. 

So, I began to pray even more fervently for ways to bless and encourage them. But as I prayed, I repeatedly heard an answer that made no sense to me—buy a Chuck-E-Cheese gift card.  

I reluctantly approached the young mother one night, almost embarrassed by what I was about to say. I had not gotten up the courage to buy the actual gift card, so giving her the money earmarked for Chuck-E-Cheese was the best I could manage. But as soon as I shared the story and handed her the money, a burden lifted from me.

That next Sunday I was met in the church hallway by that teary-eyed couple.

Their son had been learning the Lord’s Prayer. They had promised him a reward when he completely memorized it—a trip to Chuck-E-Cheese.

The young parents had avoided helping their son finish memorizing the prayer. They knew that finishing would mean disappointment.

But with the money gift, God helped them keep their promise to their son.

Beyond anything else the money could buy, that gift assured the family that God saw them and would take care of them.

Those young parents eventually took positions in pastoral ministry, and the wife even became a mayor of a small town.

And I learned how to follow God, even when I did not understand.

Dear Father, help us to clearly hear Your voice and obey. You tell us in John 14:15 that if we love You, we will keep Your commandments. Help us to love You more than our own thoughts—and our fear of what others think—so we may receive the reward of obedience from the One who loves us the most. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. 

~

Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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