Tag: fear of the Lord

True greatness!

Scripture reading for March 14:  Luke 9, Psalm 53, Proverbs 22

Key Scriptures: Luke 9:46-48  “An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest.  But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by His side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My Name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me.  For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

Pride manifested itself among the chosen disciples of Jesus.  They argued with one another about which of them was the greatest disciple!  Now it’s a noble thing to want to be the best follower of Jesus, but we can make an idol of our service to Christ and miss what Jesus desires for us.  Jesus used a child as an example.  Our treatment of children and the least among us requires humility and taking a lower position.  True greatness, says Jesus, comes from this.

Faith confession:  Lord, I want to attain true greatness by humbly receiving children and those looked down on by our culture.  I believe You love children and the marginalized of our world and want me to love them.  Action step:  Reach out today to a child or someone hurting and show the love of Jesus to them.

Proverbs 22:4  “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”

 

 

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Strong Confidence!

Scripture reading for March 4th: Luke 1, Psalm 45, Proverbs 14

Key Scriptures: Luke 1:35-38 “And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God.  And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”  And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”  And the angel departed from her.”

Luke carefully wrote down the story related to him by faithful ministers, the apostles and Mary, Jesus’ mother whom he had known.  Jesus’ birth was miraculous.  Mary was a virgin and visited by Gabriel, the angel messenger of God.  She was informed of God’s plan to use her to bring His Son into the world.  Although Mary struggled to comprehend this process, she humbly offered herself as God’s servant to do His will.  Her faith confession is a response to the angel’s words:  “Nothing shall be impossible with God.”

Faith Confession:  I believe that nothing is impossible with God and I trust His Word as truth to be believed and acted upon.  (Action step:  Respond in faith to God’s Word concerning an impossible situation you are facing.)

Proverbs 14:1, 26 “The wisest of women builds her house, . . .” “In the fear of the Lord on has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.”  

 

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Bring those children to Jesus!

Scripture reading for January 25th:  Matthew 19, Psalm 19, Prov. 19

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 19:13-15  “Then children were brought to Him that He might lay His hands on them and pray.  The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven”  And He laid His hands on them and went away.”

Jesus’ disciples tried to shield their Master from what they considered trivial ministry.  Children were not high on their priorities.  But Jesus rebuked them for rebuking the people bringing their children for prayer and blessing.  According to Jesus, the kingdom of heaven belonged to children because of their simple faith.  He gladly blessed them and prayed over them.  Children must learn early to come to Jesus for His blessing.

Faith’s confession:  Lord, I thank You that children are those that You want to be brought to You at an early age.  I will seek to bring my children and grandchildren to You each day for blessing and guidance.  (Action step:  Take time today to pray for the children in you life, asking Jesus to bless them and keep them from harm.)

Proverbs 19:23 “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.”  

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Learning and living!

Scripture reading for September 10th:  Proverbs 12-14, Colossians 3

Key Scriptures:  Colossians 3:12-15  “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”  

Learning and living go together in our walk with Jesus Christ.  As we follow Jesus, His example is to guide our conduct and His Holy Spirit is to fill us with the fruit of His Holy character.  We are one with Christ and other believers in one body, His Church!

Proverbs 14:2-3  “Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is devious in his ways despises Him.  By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.”

Prayer:  Lord, clothe me today with Your Holy Spirit and Christ’s character so that I might reflect Your goodness to the people You love and died for.  Amen.

 

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Praise the Lord!

Scripture reading for July 12th:  Psalm 148-150, Proverbs 1-2

Key Scriptures:  Psalm 150:1-6  “Praise the Lord.  Praise God in His Sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens.  Praise Him for His acts of power, praise Him for His surpassing greatness.  Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals.  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.”

Proverbs 1:7  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

The worship book of Psalms ends with a mighty call to praise the Lord!  Praise is due to God for who He is and for His mighty works.  Praise should come with instruments and from the breath of all living creatures.  God, alone, is worthy of all praise!  Proverbs begins with a call to wisdom marked by the fear of the Lord!  In Revelation, both come together as the wise worship the Lord of Creation!

Glory to His Name: “Great and marvelous are Your deeds, Lord God Almighty.  Just and true are Your ways, King of the Ages.  Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to Your Name?  For You alone are holy.  All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”  (Revelation 15:3-4)

 

 

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Thankful for wisdom!

Scripture reading for May 23rd:  Job 26-29

Key Scriptures:  Job 28:20, 23-24, 28  “Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?” . . .”God understands the way to it and He alone knows where it dwells, for He views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.”. . .”And He said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.'”  

Job pondered wisdom and it’s relation to God Himself.  Job understood that God alone had wisdom and knew all things in heaven and on earth.  In fact, God’s word to man had declared: “The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom.”  A deep and abiding respect for God and His word causes man to shun evil and live by God’s holy decrees!

Thankful for God’s wisdom:  Jesus Christ has been revealed to us as Wisdom from God and He lived in total fear of the Lord God, His Father!  “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”  (Colossians 2:2-3)

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Keys to church growth!

Scripture reading for May 17th:  Acts 9

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Acts 9:31  “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace.  It was strengthened: and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.”   

After a time of severe persecution, God sent a time of peace to the early church.   During this time of peace, the church was strengthened. One of the great persecutors, Saul, had been converted and became a strong preacher of the Gospel and apostle to the Gentiles.   The Holy Spirit brought gifts to the church in the form of pastors, teachers, evangelists, and prophets as well as empowering the individual members of the church to be witnesses to the lost.  This resulted in great numerical growth and a growing “fear of the Lord.”  The Holy Spirit enabled believers to hold God in deep respect and honor.  This brought separation from the world, sin, and the flesh and practical holiness that drew the lost.

Observations for over-comers:  Church growth isn’t something that comes from what man dreams up and promotes.  God’s Spirit empowers and encourages the Church and brings times of peace where He adds numbers to His Church!  The “fear of the Lord” is a key ingredient for this growth initiated by the Holy Spirit.  “The Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them.” (Psalms 25:14)

 

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The simplicity of faith!

Scripture reading for April 4th:  Luke 23

Key scriptures for over-comers:  Luke 23:39-43  “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him: “Aren’t You the Christ?  Save yourself and us!”  But the other criminal rebuked him.  “Don’t you fear God,” he said, since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong.”  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”  Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.”

Two criminals were crucified with Jesus.  A sign had been placed over Jesus’ head which read, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”  One criminal mocked Jesus in unbelief:  “Aren’t You the Christ?”  He mockingly asked Jesus to save himself and them, never believing that anything would result.  The other criminal rebuked him for not fearing God.  He acknowledged his guilt and the just punishment that they were receiving and recognized that Jesus was innocent.  Out of that humble spirit, he simply asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom.  What comforting ‘Truth’ Jesus spoke in return!  A great reversal would take place that very day by faith!

Observations for over-comers:   The fear of the Lord and a humble heart that simply believes brings life, salvation, and eternal reward.  “Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.”  (Proverbs 16:6)

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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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Compelled by love!

Scripture reading for August 4th:  2nd Corinthians 5

Paul was writing to his beloved church family in Corinth.   He had encouraged them to live by faith in Jesus Christ and expect some persecution and suffering, possibly even death!  They were to have no fear because of the sure promises of Jesus!  “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”  (2nd Corinthians 5:1)  Death is not the end, but a new beginning of our eternal dwelling that Jesus went ahead to prepare for us.  We have God’s promise in the Holy Spirit who now dwells in us, preparing us for that purpose!

Because of our guaranteed future home in heaven and our coming new body, we make it our goal to please our Lord by finding out what pleases Him and doing that!  Without faith, we cannot please Him!  (Hebrews 11:6)  “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.  Since, then we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men.”  (2nd Corinthians 5:10-11)

God will reward each believer at the judgment seat of Christ for their works motivated by faith. This should cause each believer to have a holy fear of Christ.  We are motivated by His love and Word to obey His command to reach the entire world and especially those God puts in our path!   “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died.  And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and was raised again.”  (2nd Corinthians 5:14-15)

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