Bible in Lap

Use this tiny sermon for personal study or for a small group discussion. Journal your responses to the applications. Then, tell a trusted spiritual friend how God wants to transform you and pray for success in obedience.

Scripture: Deuteronomy 28:47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart ...”

Key Ideas:

God desires more than technical obedience.

Obedience is more than correctly fulfilling a demand or request. Emotions and feelings matter, too.

Obedience includes the heart attitude of the person who is obeying.

Joyfulness is an outward expression of an inner emotion of delight. It is an expression of sudden, intense happiness.

A joyful person is full of joy about something. And, one can be joyful about obeying God.

Gladness is profuse appreciation. As an emotional experience, it mixes appreciation and enjoyment.

God desires obedient people to be happily passionate about obeying.

Emotion is part of obeying.


Obedience is specific. What instructions from God am I actively obeying? When someone talks to me about spiritual obedience, what is my reaction? If I feel negative toward obedience, what causes it? How do I feel when I am obeying God? Is there a tangible passion about pleasing Him?


My behavior and my heart attitude both matter to God.

Kevin Parker is editor of the Baptist New Mexican news journal and, news and information outlets for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

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