the VIRTUE of OBEDIENCE - St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church

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THE VIRTUE OF OBEDIENCE
2010, November - wk 1 (Grade 5)
STS. MARCIANUS & MERCURIUS (BLESSED SAINTS OF THIS DAY)
 They were disciples of St. Paul the Martyr, Pope of Constantinople.
 Emperor Constantine II believed in the wrong teachings Arius.
 Constantine II is the son of Constantine the Great (found the Cross with his mother Queen Helen).
 Arius spread wrong teaching about our Lord Jesus Christ.
 St. Paul the Patriarch of Constantinople, opposed Arius - so St. Paul was exiled to Armenia, where he was martyred.
 Sts. Marcianus and Mercurius also opposed Arius, and wept when St. Paul was exiled.
 Constantine II ordered the 2 saints to be martyred.
 St. John Chrysostom heard about them many years later, brought their bodies and built a church for them.
OBEDIENCE

Who do we obey?
o God (His commandments & teachings in the Bible)
o Our spiritual fathers (as the Abounas are God’s messengers)
o Our parents (as God commanded us to obey them in the Lord)

Why do we obey?
o Simply because God says to!
o Helps me to fight against pride.

When do we obey?
o Obey God all the time
o Obey the laws of the land, in the Lord
o Obey our parents, in the Lord, all the time
o Do NOT need to always obey your friends (need to discern right from wrong)
o Do NOT even need to always obey your “self” (should actually try to control “self”)

How do we obey?
o Not with arguing (it is ok to ask questions to understand, but obey first, ask questions later)
o Not “delayed” obedience, but “immediate” obedience
o Obedience is easier, when you love & respect the person you need to obey
o If you love the angels who care for you, respect them and make them happy by being obedient
o If you are finding it difficult to obey, ask God to help you, and make an honest effort as well (FAITH + WORKS)

Blessings of Obedience
o God’s promise: “it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (see Deuteronomy 5:16)

Do you want MORE Blessings of Obedience?
o Let’s read Deuteronomy 28 together (see next page)
o Notice how these awesome blessings in the Old Testament tended to be materialistic or earthly?
o Now, look in the New Testament for even more blessings, which tend to be heavenly and eternal (last forever)!
o Which blessings do you prefer:
(i)
the earthly ones that last here on earth only, or
(ii)
the heavenly ones that last forever!
o You know what, you don’t need to choose, because God wants to give you BOTH sets of blessings!
o You get the HEAVENLY, and you also get the EARTHLY blessings thrown in “for free”, all you have to do is obey Him.
o All the blessings lead to being one with Our Lord Jesus , to be saved , to be redeemed , to sit with Him,
never to be condemned or judged by Him , to have eternal life with Him. HE IS our Blessing, the Best Gift.
MEMORY VERSE
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise:
that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3
BLESSINGS OF OBEDIENCE
In Deuteronomy 28, God gives wonderful promises of blessings to us, if we obey His Word:
“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His
commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth
(Promise #1).
And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:
Blessed shall you be in the city (#2), and blessed shall you be in the country (#3).
Blessed shall be the fruit of your body (#4), the produce of your ground (#5) and the increase of your herds (#6), the
increase of your cattle (#7) and the offspring of your flocks (#8).
Blessed shall be your basket (#9) and your kneading bowl (#10).
Blessed shall you be when you come in (#11), and blessed shall you be when you go out (#12).
The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face (#13); they shall come out
against you one way and flee before you seven ways (#14).
The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses (#15) and in all to which you set your hand (#16), and He
will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you (#17).
The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself (#18), just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the
commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by
the name of the LORD (#19), and they shall be afraid of you (#20).
And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods (#21), in the fruit of your body (#22), in the increase of your livestock (#23),
and in the produce of your ground (#24), in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you (#25).
The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season (#26), and to bless all
the work of your hand (#27). You shall lend to many nations (#28), but you shall not borrow (#29).
And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail (#30); you shall be above only, and not be beneath (#31), if you
heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. So you
shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to
serve them.”
HINT: Look for God’s promises to you, in the Bible
CLUES: look for words like “The Lord will” or “Blessed shall” or “they shall” …
CONDITION: you also have to look for your part of the deal (look for words like “if you”
GOD IS FAITHFUL: if He gives you a promise, He always will deliver His part, you just have to do your part (obey!)
Psalms 23 says “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”
BLESSINGS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
In Matthew 5:1-11, the Lord Jesus gives wonderful promises of blessings, these are called the “beatitudes” and are part of
the Lord’s famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5 to 7). And lots of more blessings from the Lord, such as:
“And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” (Matthew 11:6)
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