Posts Tagged 'obedience'

The Fear of God

JESUS SPEAKING

“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12: 4 -5)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Today God’s love is preached with overwhelming supremacy; which often leaves little room for sermons that correctly emphasize the importance of fearing God. According to Jesus Christ, the fear of God and His potential judgements (including the sufferings of hell) are critical components of healthy Christian living. The fear of God produces obedience and adherence to His will. We read in Proverbs 9: 10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Thus we adhere to the commandments of our Savior because we love Him and He loves us; but also because we desire to avoid the pain of God’s correction and the anguish of hell.

According to historical documents and tradition, Saint George was a decorated military officer and a Christian serving in the Roman Army around 300 A.D. He was under the command of the Emperor Diocletian. In 303 A.D., the Emperor issued an edict of persecution against Christians, demanding that all of his soldiers offer pagan sacrifices as proof of their loyalty. Saint George promptly gave his belongings to the poor and presented himself before Diocletian, where he denounced the Emperor’s idols. When threats and promises could not move him from his steadfast confession, he was subjected to inhumane tortures, which he endured with great bravery. He was eventually beheaded because he feared and loved God more than man.

Like Saint George, our love and fearful reverence of God must never waiver. Because we are not of this world, we will endure persecution. And yet no matter how terrible the threats and punishments we might experience upon this earth, they are nothing compared to the splendor of heaven and the avoidance of hell. May we know the true fear of God and become wise; choosing those things which are above, rather than those things which are below.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we ask for an honest understanding of what it means to fear You. In the midst of our reverence, may we continue to feel Your love and affection. As we focus on the virtues that are eternal, may we never succumb to the fear of man. You alone Lord are worthy of all honor and glory. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You. And we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Follow Me

JESUS SPEAKING

            “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Mathew sitting at the tax office.  And he said to him, “Follow Me.”  So he arose and followed Him” (Mark 9: 9.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

            The calling of Mathew is among the shortest conversion stories recorded in the bible.  As a tax collector, he was hated and despised by his own people.  Still Jesus saw something in him worth saving.  As the Lord passed by He uttered two simple words that would forever transform Mathew’s life; “Follow Me.”  His response was concise, immediate, and unwavering.  Mathew arose, abandoned his position, and began following Jesus Christ.  

            During the 1880’s, a famous baseball player named Billy Sunday had a similar experience.  One day, he and his teammates entered a saloon and began drinking.  Upon exiting, Billy spotted a group of Christians singing hymns and preaching about God’s salvation and forgiveness.  As tears rolled down his face, he turned to his teammates and said, “Boys, I’m through!  Going to turn to Jesus Christ.  We’ve reached the parting of the ways.”  Some mocked him, while others encouraged him.  He then entered the Pacific Garden Mission and gave his life to the Lord.  Later he said, “I called upon God’s mercy.  I staggered out of my sins into the outstretched arms of the Savior.  I became instantly a new creation in Him.  The next morning at practice, my manager, Mike Kelly, greeted me and said, ‘Billy, I read in the paper what occurred yesterday.  Religion isn’t my long suit, but I won’t knock you, and I’ll knock the daylights out of anyone who does.”  Billy Sunday went on to become one of the greatest evangelists of the early 20th century.

            Like Mathew, and like Billy, God is still calling many to follow Him today.  Jesus Christ desires that all would come to know Him and submit to His discipleship.  Some respond to His call; still others do not.  How can you respond to God’s call and receive salvation?  First, go to a quiet place, and ask God to enter your heart.  Turn away from sin, and profess a faith in Jesus Christ.  Get involved at a local church and be baptized.  Request an easy to read version of the bible (read it every day; beginning with the gospels.)  As you grow in the knowledge of God and submit to His commandments, you will experience a transformation.  You will feel the old things pass away; for behold, God will make “all things new.”

            “Lord Heavenly Father we thank You for calling us to be Your disciples.  May You always dwell within our hearts and minds.  Give us the strength to turn away from sin and death, that we might embrace the new life we have in You.  Teach us, guide us, be our Father and we will be Your children.  Give us Your Holy Spirit that we may lovingly serve You and our fellows.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.


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