ODJ: joy of faithfulness

November 13, 2014 

READ: Deuteronomy 28:1-6 

If you fully obey the LORD your God . . . [He] will set you high (v.1).

In early 2014 the attention of the world turned to Sochi, Russia, where Olympic athletes pursued their lifelong quests. Our family loves the Summer and Winter Games—the global pageantry, the athletes’ grit and fight, the goodwill expressed among countries.

Our favourite moments are the individual athlete stories. From the Olympic Trials through the 2 weeks of the Games, we hear tales of athletes who spent years training, who overcame hardship, who became (over years of persistent devotion to their sport) women and men prepared to represent their homeland and compete on the world stage. Hearing the Olympians’ stories, I’m struck by the way so many of them are compelled by the joys of competition, love for their sport and hope for the glory of a medal.

In Scripture, God called His people to a lifelong obedience—a dogged faithfulness of commitment to God’s ways. Moses challenged Israel to “carefully keep all his commands” (Deuteronomy 28:1). God provided these instructions as guides for life. They weren’t fickle whims, but a holistic pattern of living and being.

Yet there was much joy and promise accompanying these commands. For in keeping them, Moses reminded Israel, “you will experience all these blessings” (v.2). Their cities would be blessed (v.3). Their families and farms would be blessed (v.4). They would know abundance (v.5). And to make sure God was clear about the extent of the promised joy to come, Moses concluded with a flourish: “Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed” (v.6).

A life of enduring, persistent faithfulness to God requires much and is often difficult. But the path leads to eventual and eternal joy. —Winn Collier

365-day plan› Acts 23:23-24:27

Read the rest of Deuteronomy 28. How did Moses continue to describe the good that would come from their obedience? What kind of sorrow comes from disobedience? 
Where in your life do you struggle most with faithfulness to God and the life He’s provided for you? How might joy come as a fruit of saying “yes” to God?