Keith Shorter on the Importance of Obedience to God

At the recent Southern Baptist Convention, pastor Chris Bolt stood at a microphone to ask Dr. Chuck Kelley a question.

Dr. Kelley is retiring as president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and was giving his final report to the convention. At the end of the presentation, pastor Bolt asked, “What advice would you give the young people in this room as to how to finish well?”

Dr. Kelley gave a brilliant one-word answer: “Obedience.”

“That’s it — just do what Jesus tells you to do,” Kelley advised. “Know that along the way He is going to surprise you. I never had any idea that I would one day be the president of NOBTS. How did I get in this position? Obedience. Just keep doing every day what Jesus puts on your plate to do. Stay obedient in every way that you can.”

I sat back in my chair and marveled at the wisdom in that answer. Dr. Kelley has the ability to make the profound simple and to make the simple profound. Finishing well starts with obeying the Lord today.

I love the story in Luke 5 when Peter had been out all night fishing but came back empty-handed. As Peter was washing his nets, Jesus came by and asked to borrow his boat. After teaching the crowds from the boat, it was now time to teach Peter.

Jesus told Peter to go out into the deep water and let down the nets for a catch.

In my mind, I wonder if Jesus said that with a smile on his face, knowing what was about to happen. I doubt Peter was smiling. His response shows that he was tired and frustrated. “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5 NIV).

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Source: Baptist Press