Whatever You Say

It was the Fall of 2015. 


Our Lead Pastor, Dan Martin, was preaching through a sermon series titled “Exit Strategies.” It was one of his best series, and it turned out to be his last as our shepherd.


I had a thousand thoughts swirling through my head as our church neared transition, but in the midst of that, God’s Word was leaping off of the page as Dan unpacked the book of Exodus.


There was this one phrase, in particular, that kept jumping out to me…

“All that the Lord has said, we will do.”

What a statement. Over and over again, the Lord would speak to His people, often through their leaders, and they’d echo that sentiment. “What the Lord has spoken, we will obey.”
You don’t have to read much further to find that their promises weren’t kept perfectly. The people of God then, like now, fell short time and time again. Yet their desire to do anything and everything the Lord commanded them was admirable.


I churned that phrase over and over in my mind each Sunday, stirring questions in my soul…
“Well, what ALL has the Lord said, specifically in the person of Jesus?”
“What would it look like if a church really DID everything Jesus commanded?”
“What if we took a year to study Jesus’ commands and obeyed them?”


In my first conversation with the board after Dan’s resignation, I was a little over-zealous:
“I’m not sure if I’m being considered for this position, but if I am, I think that God has already given me what I would preach for the whole first year!”

Fortunately for me, I was considered and elected to be Bluff First’s next Lead Pastor. However, it would be over two years from that conversation with the board before God would give me the green light to begin teaching on those words that had jumped out to me so clearly before.
So, here we are.


In what we call “the Great Commission” (Christ’s final words of instruction before ascending to heaven), Jesus tells His disciples to go and make more disciples. He tells them to baptize these new believers, and He tells them to teach them to obey all that He had commanded them. Like the children of Israel before them, the disciples say yes to the challenge, albeit with much more success. Obeying and following Jesus changed the world and continues to do so.


So, for most of 2018, we will be looking at all that the Lord has commanded, and doing our best to obey Him with joy. We will forgive. We will worship. We will repent. 


When He speaks, we’ll answer…“whatever You say.”

– T.J. Woodard