Sweet Obedience

Portrait of William Tyndale

Daily Reformation, Acts 17:10-13

About the Reformer

William Tyndale, the faithful minister of Christ, was born about the borders of Wales, and brought up from a child in the University of Oxford, where he, by long continuance, increased as well in the knowledge of tongues, and other liberal arts, as especially in the knowledge of the Scriptures, whereunto his mind was singularly addicted; insomuch that he, lying then in Magdalen Hall, read privily to certain students and fellows of Magdalen College some parcel of divinity; instructing them in the knowledge and truth of the Scriptures. His manners and conversation being correspondent to the same, were such that all they that knew him reputed him to be a man of most virtuous disposition, and of life unspotted.

Thus he, in the University of Oxford, increasing more and more in learning, and proceeding in degrees of the schools, spying his time, removed from thence to the University of Cambridge, where he likewise made his abode a certain space. Being now further ripened in the knowledge of God’s Word, leaving that university, he resorted to one Master Welch, a knight of Gloucestershire, and was there schoolmaster to his children, and in good favor with his master. As this gentleman kept a good ordinary commonly at his table, there resorted to him many times sundry abbots, deans, archdeacons, with divers other doctors, and great beneficed men; who there, together with Master Tyndale sitting at the same table, did use many times to enter communication, and talk of learned men, as of Luther and of Erasmus; also of divers other controversies and questions upon the Scripture.

Then Master Tyndale, as he was learned and well practiced in God’s matters, spared not to show unto them simply and plainly his judgment, and when they at any time did vary from Tyndale in opinions, he would show them in the Book, and lay plainly before them the open and manifest places of the Scriptures, to confute their errors, and confirm his sayings. And thus continued they for a certain season, reasoning and contending together divers times, until at length they waxed weary, and bare a secret grudge in their hearts against him.

—John Foxe, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

Pulling It Together

“What should I do?” asked the man.

“What does the scripture say to do?” answered his pastor.

“It isn’t that easy!” he rejoined.

Of course, he was correct. For the person who wishes to contend with the truth of scriptures, obeying God is terribly difficult. Yet for the person who sees beauty and truth in the word of God, obedience is sweet—even if the results seem sour. How has the Lord called you to obedience? The preaching of his word? Then preach despite the results. The care of a family or church member? Then give your care with cheerfulness whether they appreciate you or not. Has he called you to give some of the bounty he has provided you for his kingdom—say for a mission or your church? Then give with liberality whether or not you see the outcome. Obedience in these and other matters is simple and sweet for the one who finds guidance in God’s word.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

1 Comment

  1. Mark Post author

    “Christ beats his drum, but he does not press men; Christ is served with voluntaries.” — John Donne

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