“Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8,NIV).
When I am obedient to God's Word, my actions reveal that the cost of Jesus' sacrifice means everything to me. Christ's obedience to His father's will at Calvary is my greatest example of obedience. It was His choice whether to lay down His life or not. He had the freedom to refuse. He was not compelled to give His life for me. He just did because He loved me. I am also free to accept and follow Him, or I can refuse and reject Him. If I go my own way, I miss the joy found in sacrificing my life for the sake of His.
When I am obedient to God's will in what I sacrifice, His sacrifice becomes the defining reason for my obedience. The sacrificial love of Calvary completely defines who I am. I discover that a humble spirit inspires obedience, and finds joy in living an obedient life. But when I refuse to follow Him, I become the prime example of the fact that disobedience stems from pride. It says “no” when the cost of personal sacrifice is too great, and has little reverence for the price that was paid at Calvary.
My obedience honors the cost of Jesus’ sacrifice, and goes where disobedience never will— into the very heart of God. This is where the joy of giving myself away for His sake is discovered. “Remember this,” Paul wrote, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, NIV).
Do I want to freely, and never reluctantly, invest in His Kingdom by living an obedient life? Do I long to cheerfully give my life for His sake? My compliance to God’s will brings the greatest joy in what I give away. If I invest with joy, I shall receive the grace of His power and supply for my work. His joy is discovered in giving as Christ gave to me.