Tag: holy fear

Rejoicing in God’s Great Compassion!

Scripture reading for October 2nd:  Jonah 3-4, Micah 1-2

Key Scriptures:  Jonah 4:4-5, 10   “On the first day, Jonah started into the city.  He proclaimed:  “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.”  The Ninevites believed God.  They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.   . . . When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened.”  

Jonah had vowed to preach whatever message God gave him for the wicked city of Nineveh.  He began a walk across the huge city that would take three full days announcing God’s plan to judge them in just 40 days.  This brought holy fear and faith to the whole wicked city and they repented!  When God saw their faith and deeds of repentance, He had compassion on them!  He would much rather save people than bring judgment.  What an awesome God of compassion we serve!

God’s great compassion:  “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  (2nd Peter 3:9)

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Thankful for the fear of the Lord!

Scripture reading for June 7th:  Psalm 34-38

Key Scriptures:  Psalm 34:11-14  “Come My children, listen to Me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.  Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.  Turn from evil and do good’ seek peace and pursue it.  The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ear is attentive to their cry; . . .”

David got himself into a bit of a mess.  To escape Saul’s threats, he went to the land of Abimelech, Israel’s enemy, and feigned madness in order to survive.   Abimelech ended up sending him away.   David wrote this psalm as an act of worship for God’s deliverance of his own life from his own folly.  God’s mercy was truly there for those that feared Him and departed from evil.

Thankful for holy fear:  (Jesus) “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.  But I will show you whom you should fear, Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell.  Yes, I tel you, fear Him.”  (Luke 12:4-5)

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A deadly lie!

Scripture reading for June 7th: Acts 5:1-42

We tend to think of the Holy Spirit as gentle and always bringing joy, healing, or miracles, but He has another side.  Just as God is a God of love and miracles, but also a God of justice and anger at sin, so the Holy Spirit reflects this variety as well.  In today’s reading, a couple in the early church experienced the anger of God for a simple lie!

Ananias and Sapphira were part of Peter’s congregation in Jerusalem.  They sold some property and kept back some of the proceeds for themselves before taking the rest and laying it at the apostles’ feet.  They evidently represented that they were giving all the proceeds to the Lord’s work to appear more spiritual.  But God knows everything and Peter had a word of knowledge. “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.” (Acts 5:3-4)

Ananias heard this word and fell over dead, causing great fear in the church.  Some young men came and carried him out and buried him.  About three hours later his wife came in and Peter questioned her about the price of the land and their donation.  She repeated the lie of her husband and her death also came quickly.  “Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.” (Acts 5:11)

One would think that this kind of happening in the church would cause the church to stop growing, but the opposite happened.  Great signs and wonders were being done by the apostles.  More and more men and women believed in the Lord Jesus and many sick were healed and evil spirits cast out.  (Acts 5:12-16)  Purity in the church produced miraculous manifestations that drew people to trust in Christ.  True christianity brings real power and conviction!

Do you think that God still works to bring purity to His church?  How are you doing in dealing with your money and offerings?  Why not repent today if you need to!  God would rather show mercy than judge!

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Lying to God is dangerous!

Scripture reading for November 6th: Acts 5-7

Lying is a sin and one God’s ten commandments. (Exodus 20:16)   God hates a lying tongue! (Proverbs 6:17-19)  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.  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 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!  The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Truth!

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