Tag: fear of man

“Crucify the King!”

Scripture reading for November 17th: John 19

Key Scriptures: John 19:1-6 “Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged Him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head and arrayed Him in a purple robe. They came up to Him saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck Him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing Him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!””

Pilate had questioned Jesus earlier before flogging Him. He had asked Him if He was King of the Jews. Jesus told him that it was for this purpose He had come, to bear witness to the truth. He was a king but His kingdom was not of this world. Pilate wondered at these statements, but had Him flogged and turned them over to the soldiers who had witnessed the discussion and then mockingly arrayed Jesus in a purple robe, signifying royalty and twisted a crown from thorns, placing it on Jesus’ head. They struck Him repeatedly, and spit on Him as they mocked. This was after a cruel beating that disfigured Jesus almost to the point of death. Pilate then presented Jesus to the crowd, saying, “Behold the man!” Although Pilate found no guilt, the Jewish religious leaders responded with a cry to crucify Jesus. Facts did not matter because they wanted Jesus dead! Sounds like some trials going on today!

John 19:6-8 “Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law He ought to die because He has made Himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, as I read this account of the trial of Jesus, I am humbled and convicted by those who would mock Jesus and condemn Him to death, even though innocent. Forgive me for my own ignorance of Jesus Christ and the times I have not acted in faith but fear of man. Give me grace today to declare the truth of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords with holy boldness.

John 19:12, 14-25 “From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this Man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” . . . Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with Him, away with HIm, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” They answered, “We have no king but Caesar.””

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Obeying God, not men!

Scripture reading for April 12th: Acts 5

Key Scriptures: Acts 5:27-33 “And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this Name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree. God exalted Him at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those who obey Him.””

Obedience to God has rewards now and in eternity. The high priest was in authority over Israel and had brought the apostles in earlier and sternly commanded them to not speak or teach in the Name of Jesus. The apostles, in opposition to these instructions from spiritual authority, had continued to boldly preach repentance and forgiveness in Jesus’ Name. Many signs and wonders were also being reported through the Name. Peter, when directly confronted, plainly told the high priest that they must obey God rather than men. He then accused them again of crucifying the Lord Jesus Whom the Father had raised from the dead and exalted to His right hand. This was the ultimate position of spiritual authority. Listen to the witnesses!

Acts 5:38-39 “So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, . . “

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the Holy Spirit and the boldness of Your witnesses recorded for us in Scripture. Deliver me from the snare of fearing men and empower me to obey You alone.

Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man is a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”

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Our sufficiency is in Christ!

Scripture reading for July 31st: 2nd Corinthians 3, Psalm 2, Proverbs 28-29  (two chapters of Proverbs today to enable going to odd Psalms every other day)

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 3:3-6  “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.  Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.  Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.  For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

Paul, writing again to the Church in Corinth, contrasted his own ministry with those who boasted of their own sufficiency.  His ministry had produced the fruit of changed lives through the work of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit had written God’s law of love on human hearts to bring about the change.  Effort to keep the letter of the law produced only death but the Spirit gave life.  The only boast Paul had was in God’s faithfulness and work by the Holy Spirit.

Faith Confession:  I thank God that He has declared me sufficient as a minister of the new covenant of the Holy Spirit.  He works through me by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to bring about heart change in those who believe.

Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”  

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Repentance, baptism and the Holy Spirit

Scripture reading for May 7th:  Acts 2, Psalm 91, Proverbs 29

Key Scriptures: Acts 2:36-39  “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.  Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.”  

As Peter preached the Gospel message of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection to the crowd gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost, the Holy Spirit brought conviction on many in the congregation.  They asked Peter what they could do, having taken part in this event.  Peter told them plainly to repent–change their mind and their ways and identify with the crucified and risen Savior through water baptism (immersion).  After that, they must receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, available to all who would believe and receive.

Faith Confession:  I believe that the Holy Spirit convicts those who hear the Gospel and brings them to repentance.  Those who hear must respond by repentance and faith, receiving the Holy Spirit and testifying by water baptism if possible.

Proverbs 29:25  “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”   

 

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Authority is from Heaven!

Scripture reading for May 1st:  John 19, Psalm 87, Proverbs 25

Key Scriptures:  John 19:7-11 “The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law He ought to die because He has made Himself the Son of God.”  When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.  He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?”  But Jesus gave him no answer.  So Pilate said to Him, “You will not speak to me?   Do You not know that I have authority to release You and authority to crucify You?”  Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over Me at all unless it had been given you from above.  Therefore he who delivered Me over to you has the greater sin.”  

Pilate was the Roman governor over Jerusalem and he alone had the power to execute someone who broke Roman law.  When he heard that Jesus had stated that He was the Son of God, he was fearful for this did not break Roman law.    But Herod feared the people and had also been warned by his own wife to not have anything to do with Jesus.  He tried a final time to get Jesus to speak but Jesus remained silent.  He threatened Jesus with his authority to execute Him.  Jesus reminded him that any authority he possessed was give to him by God.

Faith Confession:  I understand that all authority comes from God alone and that I must always obey Jesus, Son of God, the source of all authority and not fear man.

Proverbs 25:2  “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.”  Vs. 11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”  

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One King, all Knowing!

Scripture reading for April 6th:  1st Samuel 10-12, John 2

Key Scriptures: John 2:23-25  “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in His Name when they saw the signs that He was doing.  But Jesus on His part did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for He Himself knew what was in man.”

Jesus was with crowds of people and many came to Him because of the miraculous signs He was doing.  But Jesus was cautious about revealing Himself to men.  He knew what was in the heart of each person and the plans God had laid out.  Jesus had no fear of man!

1st Samuel 12:17-18 “Is it not wheat harvest today?  I will call upon the Lord, that He may send thunder and rain.  And you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking for yourselves a king.”  So Samuel called upon the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.”  

Prayer:  Lord, may I fear and reverence only You and Your Word!  Amen.

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Beware of fearing men!

Scripture reading for April 21st:  John 12

Key scriptures for over-comers:  John 12: 42-46  “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in Him.  But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.  Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in Me, he does not believe in Me only, but in the One who sent Me.  When he looks at Me, he sees the One who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness.”  

Jesus came into the world to bring the light of revelation of the Father to all who would receive Him.  There were some who believed in Him among the leaders of Israel, but for fear of man, they would not confess their faith.  They wanted approval from the leaders more than the approval that came from pleasing God.  Today, this same fear causes many to shrink back from a public commitment to follow Jesus.  They believe in Him, but fear men and desire acceptance more than God’s approval.  Because of this, they stay in darkness and miss the full revelation of light!

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers boldly confess their faith in Jesus Christ, loving the approval of God over that of men.  “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”  (Proverbs 29:25)

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Don’t play to the crowd!

Scripture reading for March 1st:  Mark 15

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Mark 15:9-11,15  “”Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him.  But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.  .  .”Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them.  He had Jesus flogged, and handed Him over to be crucified.””

At Pilate’s judgment seat, he had a custom of releasing to the crowd one of the condemned prisoners.  This was his way of gaining favor with those he had to govern.  Earlier, he had been warned by his wife not to have anything to do with Jesus’ death because He was an ‘innocent man’.  (Matthew 27:19)  He knew that it was simply ‘out of envy’ that the Jewish Priests had handed Jesus over to him.  He found no fault in Jesus worthy of death!  All this being recorded, Pilate still played to the crowd and handed Jesus over to be crucified!  In the end, Pilate would rather please the crowd than bring justice to the innocent!  Political expediency trumped truth!

Observations for over-comers:  Always stand firm on God’s word and truth.  Don’t play to the crowd!  “You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with You the wicked cannot dwell.  The arrogant cannot stand in Your presence; You hate all who do wrong.  You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the Lord abhors.”  (Psalm 5:4-6)

 

 

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A student will become like his teacher!

Scripture reading for January 14th:  Matthew 10

Key scriptures:  Matthew 10:24-25, 28  “”A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.  It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.  If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household. . . .  Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Jesus plainly taught His disciples that persecution would be their lot from others, often members of their own household.  After all, Jesus was a Jew and His own countrymen turned on Him, some accusing Him of being demon-possessed and others plotting His murder–for religious reasons, of course!

However, Jesus’ disciples must continue to share the good news and preach truth without regard for those who opposed them.  Their fear or respect for God must always be above a fear of man–even their own family!  The fear of man could be the snare of the enemy that would take Jesus’ followers to their destruction in Hell!  Jesus taught them that hell was a real place where the devil and his followers would spend eternity suffering for their lack of fear of God.

Observation for over-comers:  As we follow Jesus, we are being transformed to be more like Him each day.  This brings persecution from those in rebellion.  Don’t fear their taunts, Christ has overcome! “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe.”  (Proverbs 29:25)

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Don’t depend on man’s help!

Scripture reading for July 22nd: Isaiah 17-20

“Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be afraid and put to shame.  In that day the people  who live on this coast will say, ‘See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria!  How then can we escape?” (Isaiah 20:5-6)

The fear of man is a snare that many men and women fall into.  People look to a leader or a nation for help or protection.  They rely on military power, political influence,  or money to provide them a measure of safety and security.  Most believe that ‘might makes right’ and that the ‘fittest will survive’.  This appears to be the smart way to live successfully in this world.

We in the United States of America have had a lot to boast about in this regard.  We have the most powerful military in the world.  We have vast resources and technology that enables us to protect ourselves and to free oppressed peoples.  But can these give us true safety and security?  The Bible says that security is found in God alone!

Egypt was a powerful nation during this period of time.  They were a nation of idolaters who consulted sorcerers and mediums instead of God.  God’s prophet Isaiah warned His people that they would find these leaders very unreliable.  (Isaiah 19:1-4)  God would cause drought and famine to reduce the nation to despair.  He would expose their politicians and officials as senseless and fools!   (Isaiah 19:5-14)  God would pour on them a spirit of dizziness causing them to stagger in their own vomit!

God’s mercy would be extended to those in Egypt as well.  If they would turn to the Lord, He would have mercy on them!  (Isaiah 19:19-22)  He would raise  up a deliverer and make Himself known to them.  This passage ends with God declaring a blessing over Egypt and Assyria:  “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:25)

God’s amazing mercy and love for all nations cause us to worship Him and willingly serve Him!  Take time today and repent of any ‘trust in man’ and thank God that He is trustworthy!  He alone is our source of protection and our way of escape!

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