Days 49-50: Numbers 1-3; Mark 3

"Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." (Mark 3:35, CSB)

More than once in our reading of Numbers 1-3, we read that 'the Israelites did everything the LORD commanded' (Numbers 1:54, for example). God places a premium on obedience, for, as we were reminded in last Sunday's sermon, obedience is the outcome of love: 'Whoever loves me, keeps my commands' (John 14:15). That the motivation for God's call to obedience is love, is that all He calls Israel to is for their good and protection, and, you noticed, that He is in the middle of His people (represented by the 'tent of meeting'). Jesus does not qualify His family by race. His qualifier is 'whoever.' The note of surprise is that the 'whoever' is the one who is family. This is love! Anyone who embraces Jesus wholly (and this, we know, by grace) becomes family. For me, the call to obedience is not a hardship, for as we were reminded in the sermon of two weeks ago: God not only says, 'No!' Better yet, He says 'Yes!' To me, His 'Yes' in Christ has always and ever exceeded His 'No.' And, this I know, His 'No' is always motivated by His love for me. Therefore I say, 'Yes!' to Him, and gladly I take my place in His family, all by grace! 

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