Tag: fear of God

Walking by faith through death to life!

Scripture reading for September 22nd: 2nd Corinthians 5

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 5:1-5 “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened–not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, Who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”

Paul talked to the Corinthians about death from a Christian perspective. This was not just a ‘hope’ but something Paul knew to be true from God’s unchanging Word. He likened our earthly bodies to a tent–a temporary dwelling place. As long as we live in the ‘tent’ of the earthly body, we will groan and have a longing for that which God has prepared, a permanent dwelling, a glorified body that will live forever. He likened death to the putting off of the ‘tent’ or temporary dwelling. He likened the ‘further clothing’ to be the new body which God is preparing us for by giving us a down-payment in His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit prepares us for this amazing transition and is our guarantee that God will do what He has promised. We walk, live, and even die with faith in this amazing promise.

2nd Corinthians 5:6-8 “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith and not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing promises of a permanent glorified body to live in for eternity in Your presence. Thank You for the Holy Spirit Who is my guarantee and helps me prepare while on earth. Use me to bring this Gospel to those groaning under the fear of death and blinded by the god of this world.

2nd Corinthians 5:9-11 “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.”

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Prospering in God’s Will

Scripture reading for June 4th:   2nd Chronicles 23-26, Acts 22

Key Scriptures:  Acts 22:14-16  “And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know His will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from His mouth; for you will be a witness for Him to everyone of what you have seen and heard.  And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His Name.'”

Ananias was sent by God to Saul, who had been struck blind by his vision of Jesus.  Ananias gave Saul a Word from God.  Saul would be a witness of all that he had seen and heard.  He had new eyes that saw the Son of God and understood His will.  He was to be obedient and be baptized and began calling on His Name.

2nd Chronicles 26:4  “And he (Uzziah) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.  He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God, and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper.”  

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be obedient to You and Your Word and to seek You in all things so that I may prosper in doing Your will.  Amen.

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Our most precious relationship!

Scripture reading for May 28th: Job 25-28

Bildad opened his final argument by citing the power and dominion of God.  He then questioned that in light of God’s greatness, how could man who is born of woman be right with God?  (Job 25:4)  This was a good question and the answer implied by Bildad is found in other writings of Scripture.  Romans 3:10 says that there is none righteous, not even one. (Psalm 14:1)   Romans 3:23 states that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.   Bildad’s error was in his understanding of God and man’s relationship.  Bildad stated that man was like a maggot in God’s sight, only a worm.  (Job 25:6)  This view was neither encouraging or accurate!

Job refuted Bildad by asking him what spirit was speaking through him!  Job’s counter-argument was that he would continue to trust God, even if he didn’t understand!  (Job 27:2-6)  God was his only source of hope and encouragement!  God’s character and wisdom were worth more to Job than anything this earth had to offer.  (Job 28:12-13)

Job knew that the fear of the Lord was wisdom and understanding was to depart from evil!  (Job 28:28)  Respecting God and His authority is the very core of wisdom.   It  is the character trait of humility.  God, Himself, is humble!  Jesus Christ taught his followers to come and learn from Him, because he was humble of heart!  (Matthew 11:28-30)  By respecting God and being humble we are able to follow God and live successfully by faith and not be led astray by our sight!  We know from God’s word and character that there is a definite “good” and a definite “evil”.  We walk in understanding when we depart from evil and do good!

God is the most precious one in our life.  Job came to this conclusion as he was forced by the circumstances of a trial to live by faith.  He did not have all the answers, but he knew the One who did and who would help him!  He steadfastly held on to his Redeemer and persevered!  We can, too!  What a precious Lord we have!  Don’t let go!

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Would You Lie to God?

Scripture reading for November 7th: Acts 5-7

Lying is a sin!  One of the ten commandments states that we should not give a false accusation against a neighbor! (Exodus 20:16)   God hates a lying tongue! (Proverbs 6:17-19)  Lying causes mistrust because lies are usually found out and the person’s character is degraded by all who know the truth.  Lying breaks relationships, marriages, homes, and even churches!  A lying tongue hates the one it hurts!  (Proverbs 26:28)  A false witness will not go unpunished and he who pours out lies will perish! (Proverbs 19:9)  The devil is a liar and can speak only one language: “LIE!” (John 8:44)

The Book of Acts records the history of the early church from just before the day of Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the imprisonment of the Apostle Paul in Rome.  Very early in the history of the new church, Luke writes to tell us the story of a couple who told a lie that cost them very dearly.  This is the story of Ananias and Sapphira found in Acts 5:1-16.

The lie that this couple told was a lie of omission.  They sold some of their property and made an offering to the Apostles for the use of the church.  The price of the property was more than what they gave, but they told the Apostles that they gave all the money to the Lord when they had kept some back for themselves.  Now it wasn’t wrong not to give it all.  It was only wrong to lie about what they had given.  Scripture doesn’t say why they did this.  It may be that they wanted to look good and seem more dedicated than they really were.  It may be that they dedicated more than they were willing to give and decided to keep some back.  Whatever the reason, we only have the startling results!

“Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?  Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?  What made you think of doing such a thing?  You have not lied to men, but to God.””  “When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what happened.” (Acts 5:3-5)

This happened in the same way to his wife Sapphira.  Both of them died immediately as a result of lying!  This should make each one of us think and evaluate our own hearts and giving.  We need mercy more than ever!  This is a New Testament story to warn God’s people that dealing with God is serious business!  Amazingly, the church grew and many souls were added after this judgment!  God is building a holy church without spot or wrinkle!  The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Truth!

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Purging evil from our midst!

Scripture reading for February 27: Deuteronomy 21-26

One of the most difficult things to do is to change.  We are by nature procrastinators and easily get comfortable with sin and evil in our lives and culture.  We blame others for our bad habits and use the victim mentality to justify our own rebellion.  We easily judge others who are “worse than us” and can see their need to change.  Looking in the mirror and admitting that I need to change is another story.  In today’s reading from Mose’s sermon to the younger generation we can gain insight about the radical methods needed to remove sin and guilt from our lives and community. This blog is inspired by a statement that is repeated many times by Moses: “purge evil from among you”.

“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, then his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious.  He will not obey us.  He is a profligate and a drunkard.”  Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death.  You must purge evil from among you. All Israel will hear it and be afraid.”  (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

What is evil?  According to this passage, one form of  it is dishonoring and rebelling against your God-given authority. This is a breaking of God’s law, the only true source of knowing good and evil.   A son who refuses to listen and be corrected by his parents is exhibiting rebellion and evil.  Evil cannot be negotiated with or excused.  Discipline is to be used to remove it or drive it out of one’s home or life.  Evil affects communities and spreads if not dealt with.  It is more than a personal matter.  Sin’s final consequence is death and that can spread to a whole community.

Now, don’t jump to the conclusion that we should stone our children today.  This law was for God’s family under the old covenant.  It is teaching us principles of parenting and community involvement in setting standards for evil and its removal.  If we tolerate evil, it always spreads.  A lack of swift justice or discipline allows evil to grow.  A swift and severe punishment instills a holy fear of God’s Word and reinforces the seriousness of evil as a source of death.  Notice the elders were involved here.  Those with wisdom and maturity helped the family with the rebellious child.  Their goal was removing evil from the midst of the community, not just placating the child or parents.  They cared about all the children and the future.

There are other examples throughout this section of scripture.  The general lesson for us is our need for a clear definition of good and evil in community.  The community working together to purge evil and promote good by respect for God’s law is foundational to God’s blessing of His people.  Contemplate these truths and ask God how to apply them personally and in the community we belong to!

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