Archive for August, 2012
Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow. (Ecclesiastes 8:13)
Life is better when you fear God. So do not ignore what God says. Do not put words in God’s mouth. Listen and do what he says. If not, it will not go well for you.
“And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.” (Joshua 3:13)
Did you notice the need for faith in this story? The priests had to walk into the river before the water would part. Their feet had to touch the water before God would act. We want God to part the waters as soon as we see them; sometimes God wants us to realize just what we could have gotten ourselves into.
Purity is not just a matter of what is right and wrong. It is a lifestyle. God has called us to a holy lifestyle. Let’s remember that today, and live up to our calling.
“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
God bought us, the church, by paying a special price. He used his own blood! That’s what makes the church so special. That’s why we need to live special, holy lives.
The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found of him, because he had trusted in his God. (Daniel 6:23)
Daniel was delivered from the lion’s den because he trusted in God. Not a scratch on him. That is the same God we serve. Trust him. He will do amazing things in your life too.
Should I be afraid of God? No. Yes. Sometimes. In some ways. It depends on what you mean.
How’s that for a definite answer? On the one hand, we have plenty of verses that command us to fear the Lord. Abraham was blessed because he feared God. “Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.” (Psalm 34:9) Seems pretty straightforward.
Then we read passages like this one written by the apostle John: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) Love drives out fear, so how can we fear a God we love and who loves us?
When angels appear to people in the Bible, the angels often say, “Don’t be afraid.” Yet in Revelation, one angel says, “Fear God and give him glory.” (Revelation 14:7)
So, should I be afraid of God?
The example that helps me understand a bit of this is the example of electricity. I sit in an office day after day, surrounded by electricity. There are electrical cables in the walls around me and in the ceiling over my head. Numerous power cords are plugged in near my feet.
I’m not afraid. In fact, I’m glad that I have electricity in my office. It gives me light and lets me use my computer and other devices. I’m not afraid of electricity. But I’m not going to stick a fork into an outlet, either. I respect electricity and know what it can do. If I see a bare wire, I’m careful not to touch it. I fear electricity and its power.
I shouldn’t live a fearful life, walking around thinking that God is going to strike me down at any time. That’s not love. That’s not what God wants. But I should have reverence for God and his power. I should recognize that he is my Creator. He is the Holy One. I should fear God and respect who he is.
Do you fear God? Are you living a life of reverence? If not, then I don’t think you know who God is.
Are you afraid of God? Do you live in terror of what God might do to you? If so, then you don’t know God. You don’t have a loving relationship with God.
Fear God. Respect him. But don’t be afraid to draw close to him.
If you have questions about how to have a loving relationship with God, one that drives out the bad fear, then write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or join us on the www.hopeforlife.org website.
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.” (John 13:3–4)
How could the Creator of everything take on the filthy job of washing the feet of those he created? He could do it because he was sure of his identity and sure of his destiny. When we are sure of the same, service becomes a natural way of life.
How would Jesus treat the people you will meet today? How should you treat them? Love them. Just like you they were you. And treat them that way.
“And the LORD came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”” (1 Samuel 3:10)
When God speaks to us, there is only one correct response: “Speak, for your servant hears.”
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
This is our task for today: to conduct ourselves in a just and fair way, to be merciful to everyone, and to stay connected to God.