Tag: fear of man

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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Man’s help is futile!

Scripture reading for July 20th: 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. (Proverbs 29:25)  People look to a man or a nation  for help or protection.  They rely on military power, political influence, money, or knowledge to provide them a measure of safety and security.   They believe that ‘might makes right’ and that the ‘fittest will survive’.  In the natural, this appears to be the smart way to live and get along in this world.

We in the United States of America boast of the most powerful and feared military in the world.  We have vast resources and technology that enable us to protect ourselves and to free oppressed peoples in other parts of the world.  We have sought to use our power and resources to protect freedom and fight against oppression and wickedness.  But in spite of our great resources and technology God alone is our only source of safety!

Isaiah spoke an oracle against Egypt.  Egypt was a powerful nation during this period of time.  They were a nation of idolaters who consulted sorcerers and mediums instead of God.  Isaiah warned them that they would find these leaders very unreliable and unstable and His judgment would expose them as false!  (Isaiah 19:1-4)  God would cause drought and famine to reduce the people to despair.  He would expose their politicians and officials as senseless and fools!   (Isaiah 19:11-14)  God would pour on them a spirit of dizziness causing them to stagger in their own vomit!  Trusting in men is futile!

God’s mercy was extended to Egypt.  If they would turn to the Lord, He would have mercy on them!  (Isaiah 19:19-22)  He would raise  up a deliverer for them and make Himself known to them and He would heal them!   God declared 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!   He alone is our source of protection and our way of escape!

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