Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A Hard and Beautiful Sacrifice

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A Hard and Beautiful Sacrifice

This week is the week leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. Thinking about the events that took place the last week of Jesus' life, and the unspeakable way He suffered and died stirs emotions. It's the kind of emotions that leaves you feeling a little disturbed, but that is ok - we need to be a little disturbed about what He endured for us.  Reading about what Jesus did His last week here on earth, who He was with, and especially the last 24 hours of His life, have really made me think. We have heard about these things, but we often try to not think about what really happened.  You may also choose to ignore the truth of all that Christ went through for you, but the facts remain and it is good for all of us to face this at some point in our lives. And when you do, it will have a profound effect on your life. 

Imagine actually being there as one who loves Jesus and see him experiencing this all in person.  One such person was an unnamed woman who came to a house where Jesus was eating.  She came for the sole purpose of anointing His head with precious oil.  

Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon, a man who had suffered from a dreaded skin disease. While Jesus was eating, a woman came in with an alabaster jar full of a very expensive perfume made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus' head. Some of the people there became angry and said to one another, "What was the use of wasting the perfume? It could have been sold for more than three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor!" And they criticized her harshly. But Jesus said, "Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a fine and beautiful thing for me. You will always have poor people with you, and any time you want to, you can help them. But you will not always have me. She did what she could; she poured perfume on my body to prepare it ahead of time for burial.  Mark 14:3-8

This woman's act of devotion will be the last expression of tenderness that Jesus receives before Judas sneaks away to betray him.  How precious that anointing in Bethany must have been to him.  He could see how much the woman loved him, He could see that she recognized him as Messiah, and He could see that she knew that He was going to die.  She was anointing the body that would not otherwise be anointed before burial.  The text says that the woman broke open the jar which shows that she was generous in lavishing the jar's entire contents on Jesus.  But it also speaks of the occasional practice of anointing a corpse and then breaking the oil flask and placing it in the coffin. Unlike the other disciples, this unnamed woman understood the way of the cross.  Unlike the other two disciples who are key characters in Mark's story of the Passion - Judas, who betrayed Jesus, and Peter, who denied him - this unnamed woman understood the Gospel.  She knew that Jesus was the Messiah and that "for the sake of the joy that was set before him" Hebrews 12:2 - the joy of redeeming humanity and all creation, the joy of reuniting you and me with our loving Creator - He had to endure the cross.  This unnamed woman represents all of us who have felt blessed and strengthened by Jesus' presence and who long to offer back some expression of blessing in return.

He did suffer excruciatingly for you and me, because He loves us so much.  It is good to remember now and then exactly what price was paid for our salvation.  This woman paid an extraordinary piece of respect to Christ as she thought nothing too good to bestow upon Him to do Him honor. Christ must be honored with all we have, and we must not think to keep back any part of the price. Do we give him the precious oil of our best affections?  Let Him have them all; love Him with all your heart.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Where is Your Jesus?

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1

Where is Your Jesus?
This week leading up to Easter we talk, and think, a lot about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For Christians, the Easter story is meant to be more than just a story. It is the whole foundation of our faith. Jesus died to save us and rose from the dead so we could have everlasting life. That brings us freedom from the bondage of sin. Freedom to live a whole new way, a new life.

A lot of us don’t live out the Easter story in our own lives. We celebrate it. We fill baskets and hide eggs. We get dressed up and have a big family meal. But when it comes to the everyday living of our lives, we keep Jesus in the tomb. As His children, we have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead in our lives. We have the power of the resurrection. 

If we are not living in the power of the resurrection, our Lord is still buried in the tomb. We can easily let the burdens of this life weigh us down with a weight like the stone rolled in front of Jesus’ tomb. We let sin keep us bound to it and we let the shame and guilt of past sins hold us prisoner. Living in the power of the resurrection means we live free! Jesus paid the price for us so we could be free, not keep living under the weight of guilt, shame, and the bondage of continued sin. If you were locked up and held prisoner, and someone opened the gate to set you free, would you stay in the prison? Or would you get out as fast as you could?

Jesus’ empty tomb opened the gates of our prisons. His resurrection power cancels our past — our failures, mistakes, sins, and regrets. It is eliminated as it if never happened. Gone. A new beginning. A clean slate. Getting bound up in our past, that Jesus has canceled with His shed blood, keep us not only from living free, but also from experiencing the blessings God has for us. It limits us because we are tethered to it, living in constant regret. Living this way limits what we believe God can do in our lives.

Where is your Jesus? Is He still in the tomb? No matter what lies in your past, or what you are struggling with now, your future is redeemed and secured. If you are trapped in your past, His power wipes it out if you let Him. If you are struggling with something now, His power can overcome. Because of His sacrifice and His resurrection, the gates are open, and we have been set free. This week as you prepare for Easter, remember that we are celebrating a resurrected Christ with a resurrection power. Remember what that resurrection power means in your life. Claim it. Trust it.
Live it.

Monday, March 29, 2021

A Holy and Passionate Love

 Monday, March 29, 2021

When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. "If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:  Matthew 21:1-4

A Holy and Passionate Love

It's passion week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter. We call it passion week because we reflect on the last week of Christ and how much passion He had as He faced His death - a death that would mean life everlasting for us. He had passion to save us, to give us eternal life, and forgiveness of our sins. He was, and still is,  passionate about giving us freedom from the bondage of debt, a debt we could never pay. 

Yesterday we celebrated the "triumphal entry" of Jesus into Jerusalem, exactly one week before His resurrection. Palm Sunday.  People lined the road to see Jesus and hail Him the King but then, later the same people were yelling “Crucify Him!”  Imagine you are lining the road to Jerusalem with your palm branch in your hand, eagerly awaiting the Messiah to come. Would you be one of the crowd yelling “Crucify Him!”  or eagerly waiting to exalt Him as the Messiah? 

Before Palm Sunday, Jesus was outside of Jerusalem with some of the disciples, getting ready to go into Jerusalem.  He sent a couple of the disciples into the village to borrow a donkey colt and told them exactly where they would find it.  They found the donkey just as He had said and brought it to Him immediately. Jesus rode this donkey into Jerusalem to fulfill the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. The disciples laid their coats on the donkey for Him to sit on, an act of respect for royalty.  

The crowd laid their clothes and palm branches in the road for the same reason.  The crowd was very excited as they had come to Jerusalem for the Passover.  For the Jewish people, Passover was more than a religious observance, it was the time of year they celebrated liberation from Egyptian bondage.   

As He passed, they waved palm branches and praised Him and shouted ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” As Brother Van told us yesterday, “Hosanna! – is an Aramaic term that means “Save us now!” And they proclaimed him their leader: “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord – the King of Israel!”

This is just the beginning of a long week that leads to a cross. We have a Holy Heavenly Father who loves us with a passionate love. Jesus’ passion and willingness to die for us is an extension of God’s love for us.  What is it that you need to be freed from? The Jewish people cried “Save us now!” Is that  what your heart is crying? 

There was nothing kingly or extravagant about the way He made His triumphant entry, but the passion and love He has for us is extravagant.


Sunday, March 28, 2021

From Coronation To A Cross

From Coronation To A Cross  

Matthew 21:1-14

All in the span of seven days, Christ will go from exaltation and coronation to vilification to crucifixion, and finally from resurrection to glorification.

The events of that first Palm Sunday mark the beginning of the Passover, and the week of passion for Jesus.

  I. The Coronation – Matthew 21:1-9 - When Jesus Is Who We Want Him To Be

·  The Preparation was with Purpose.

·  The Prophecy was Fulfilled.

·  The Praise Was Unrestrainable!

v For the Jewish people, Passover was more than a religious observance, it was the time of year they celebrated liberation from Egyptian bondage.

v Hosanna!” – an Aramaic term that means “Save us now!”

v Palm branches were a symbol associated with Jewish nationalism.

II.The Crowd – Matthew 21:10-11  When Jesus Is Who He Is

·  The Jewish people had prepared their own agenda for their Messiah.

·  Have we not learned that God is in the business of sustaining, not explaining?

III.The Conflict – Matthew 21:12-13 - When Jesus Confronts Religion

·  When religion creates demands that are apart from the desire of God, it becomes religious abuse.


IV.The Compassion  Matthew 21:14-16 - When Jesus Does What He Does Best

·  The voices of the world should never interfere with the mission of God.

V.The Call – John 12:20-26 When Jesus Says What We Don’t Want Him To Say  

·  “The time for miracles is over. The time for commitment is now.”

·  The road to Christlikeness often leads to a cross.

VI.The Condemnation – Matthew 27:22-23 - When Jesus is NOT Who We Want Him To Be

VII.The Cross - John 12:32-33 – When Jesus Finished His Course

·  The cross was His destiny – for us.

Friday, March 26, 2021

True Identity

 Friday, March 26, 2021

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:37-39

True Identity
There is a tendency for us to come running to God in the midst of trouble and see if He can straighten things out.  God's way is to "straighten us out".  Life, and Satan, have a way of making us feel like anything but conquerors.  We may even become disillusioned because our “Christianity” has not paid the dividends that we feel it should. We can easily forget the power of Romans 8:

For the law of the Spirit of life has set you[b] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:2-4

When we live in the power of Romans 8, we are delivered from the law of sin and death through Jesus Christ to fulfill the purpose of God – daily BY the Spirit of God.  The Law of Sin and death reminds us of our sin and the separation from God that results. The Law of the Spirit supersedes these laws. This is the Law that the Christian lives under because of Christ's gift – because of their heritage. 

Living a Conqueror’s Life
To live as a conqueror means to live intentionally and with determination: 
·        In His power and not our own - v.4 - "who do not walk according to the flesh"
·        According to His will and purpose - v.5 - "but according to the Spirit"
·        Focused on Him and not ourselves - v.6 - "but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace"

This does not mean that we will not experience death, weakness, suffering, grief or sorrow. BUT... there will be NO PERMANENT DESTRUCTION.  HOPE is the key for the Christian.  Hope is not wishing.  It has a reason... the resurrection and victory of Jesus Christ.  Our power to stand is equal to our FAITH. Hope cannot be in what is seen or that is not hope. A person of strength is a person of faith.

Living a conqueror’s life means living victorious rather than defeated.  I’ll be honest, most days I get out of bed already feeling defeated. Before my feet hit the ground, I have already failed at something – usually that I didn’t get up early enough to do all I want to do before work.  Getting out of bed with that defeated mentality makes it hard to switch to living victoriously the rest of the day.  And then Satan wins because that is exactly what he wants.  Every chance he can get he will attack at our weakest points.  He never wants us to feel victorious in any way.  If we are defeated, beat down, feeling like a failure, then he continues to pick away at those thoughts and feelings and adds unworthy, useless, irresponsible, fat, ugly, and the list could go on for pages.  He knows how to bring a conqueror down, but we cannot let him. We have to hold tight to the heritage we have been given – a conqueror’s heritage.  Our feelings will not help us.  We must rely on our faith in times of feeling victorious and mostly, in times of feeling defeated.  It is this faith that will protect us from Satan’s lies. 

When you remember your heritage, remember that you are a child of God with all rightful privilege. A prince walks like a prince! We walk different when we remember who we are.  Your Father is the King of Kings and because of His great love for you and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are more than conquerors in Him.  

Thursday, March 25, 2021

How Can We Reconcile God's Love and Wrath?

 Thursday, March 25, 2021
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses. By canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14

The Cross Is the Answer

How does a Holy God reconcile His Holiness and His love for sinners? Our God is Holy and because He is Holy, His response to sin is wrath – for the wages of sin is death… At the same time, what our Holy God wants more than anything is to be reconciled with us – His Children – sinners.  How can this work? We are sinners and He is holy. He cannot look on sin so He cannot look on us right? He wanted to be able to look on us and love us, therefore He sent His son to take the punishment for our sins and cover us in His shed blood. The blood of Jesus washes us clean repeatedly (over and over and over) so we can have a relationship so we can have a relationship with Holy God.

The cross is our only hope. Without the cross we would not have salvation. Jesus suffered God’s wrath for the whole world on the cross before we ever even chose Him. He sealed our salvation and reserved our spot in His kingdom. God’s love covered His wrath on that day and every day since then. His divine justice was satisfied and a price was paid that we could never have paid. And now, as His children, we can receive the lavish love and forgiveness He pours out.

We received the gift of salvation and God’s love at the cross, but we also received the power of the cross and resurrection.  Those who hung Jesus on the cross believed He was powerless, but they quickly found out they were so very wrong.  They made fun of Him and taunted Him for not getting Himself down if He was truly the Son of God. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!” Mark 15:29-30  But He stayed so that we could be free. The power of what Jesus did on the cross and His resurrection is more powerful than any sin that ever grips us. It is more powerful than Satan or any demon forces he unleashes. It is more powerful than death. It is the answer for everything. It changed everything for us when Jesus was crucified and it still changes everything for us every single day. 

When you think about God's wrath, think about the cross. The cross is where God's wrath for us was covered by God's love and the blood of Jesus.

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved
by him from the wrath of God. Romans 5:9

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A Good Word For Those Who Have Made A Mess

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Psalm 34 4-7

Everyone needs a safe place and if you have never needed one yet, someday you will. David wrote Psalm 34 on the heels of an episode of escape from a Philistine king who was trying to kill him. It is actually an acrostic poem in which the first ten verses constitute a personal testimony. Then verses 11-22 deliver an exhortation to others in Israel based on the king’s experience. The key to everything in the psalm is found in the verses for today from Psalm 34:4-7.

There is a remarkable principle enunciated here that is easy to miss because of preconceptions we bring to the Bible. Let me illustrate by asking you a question: Whom does God hear, save, and bless?  Chances are your immediate answer would be something like this: Good people. People who do right. People who obey the Lord, stay out of trouble, and do good deeds. 

Now please don’t miss the point here. We all should be "good people." We should all "do right." And, of course, we should "obey the Lord, stay out of trouble, and do good deeds." In fact, we should be doing lots of things most of us aren’t!  After all, why are we in trouble in the first place?

Most of David’s troubles were all rooted in David’s sins.  So are most of mine.  So are most of yours.  So let’s go back to the text and try the question again: Whom does God hear, save, and bless? The answer in this poem celebrates the wonderful truth that He comes to the aid of people who are in trouble because they’ve messed up and are in jeopardy because of their own foolishness.  God’s solidarity is not with "good" people but with people who know they are helpless, have nowhere else to go, and run to him.

·      He shows mercy to the brokenhearted.
·      He gives strength to the exhausted.
·      He gives salvation to the sinner.
·      He reflects his personal glory off the tear-stained, dirty, even angry faces that turn to him for help.

Contrary to our experience and expectation, God does not side with the folks who already have everything but with those who are so bankrupt that they know they have nothing!  Here is the New Testament version of this psalm and its message:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.  Romans 5:6-11

Is this not “Good News!”  That which we cannot earn, purchase or secure is provided to us from a gracious God so we can live in peace and security.  To rest in the knowledge of His gift is to experience the Safe Place.

For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. (Psalms 27:5)

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Steps to Finding True Peace and Contentment

 Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 1 Timothy 6:6-8

Steps to Finding True Peace and Contentment

Although many Scriptures teach about the dangers of material riches, God's Word does not teach that poverty is God's alternative. God wants us to understand that money is a tool to use in accomplishing His plan through us. If we are to find true contentment we must establish some basic guidelines.

Establish a reasonable standard of living. It is important to develop a lifestyle based on conviction, not circumstances. God will assign Christians at every economic level. On whatever level He has placed you, live within the economic parameters established and supplied by Him. Just having abundance is not a sign of God's blessings. Satan can easily duplicate any worldly riches. God's abundance is without sorrow and is for the purpose of bringing others to Christ.

2.    Establish a habit of giving. Along with the tithe, God desires that every Christian provide for the needs of others through the giving of offerings, gifts, and personal involvement.

3.    Establish priorities. Many Christians are discontented—not because they aren't doing well but because others are doing better. Too often Christians look at what they don't have and become dissatisfied and discontented, rather than thanking God for what they do have and being content with what He has supplied.

4.    Develop a thankful attitude. It is remarkable that in America we could ever think that God has failed us materially. That attitude is possible only when we allow Satan to convince us to compare ourselves to others. The primary defense against this attitude is praise to God. Satan uses lavishness and waste to create discontent and selfish ambition. Thankfulness is a state of mind, not an accumulation of assets. Until Christians can truly thank God for what they have and be willing to accept God's provision, contentment will never be possible.

5.    Reject a fearful spirit. One of the most effective tools used by Satan against Christians is the question, "What if?" Dedicated Christians get trapped into hoarding because they fear the "What if?" of retirement, disability, unemployment, economic collapse, and so on. Although God wants us to be concerned about these things, when fears dictate to the point that giving to God is hindered, foolish risks are assumed, and worry seems to control every decision, contentment is impossible.

6.    Seek God's will. "More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:8).

7.    Stand up to fear. "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

8.    Trust God's promise. "The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).

Contentment is so far removed from many Christians that it seems that they will never be able to find it or be at peace. However, contentment is not something that must be searched for and found. It is an attitude of the heart. It's not the clothes, it's not the car, it's not the house that makes the man or woman. The world may rate your value by these things, but the world will pass away. God is eternal and His judgement is the one that counts. His value is us has nothing to do with what we wear, what we drive, or where we live. When we realize in our hearts that God is the only thing we need, He will be the only thing we want. He is the only thing that can fill the void we are constantly seeking to fill. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Disciplines of Contentment

Monday, March 22, 2021

Disciplines of Contentment

We write about it - a lot. Paul wrote about it. Solomon wrote about it. People have been searching for contentment for ages, and never finding it, and still we refuse to look in the only place that will bring us the contentment we seek. Why do we do this? We may look to God momentarily but we are quickly distracted by all the false and deceptive pretty things this world says will give us what we want. Unfortunately, most of us have to be burned with the utter discontentment the world offers before we realize the lies it taunts us with. 

So, how can we discipline ourselves to look for real contentment from the only place we can find it? How can we keep ourselves from being distracted? What do we do when we finally grasp that one thing we think will bring us contentment, only to find it dissolves like a puff of smoke in our hand? 


1.    First, learn to give thanks in all things. Paul had learned to give thanks in every circumstance and he exhorted all believers to do the same. Thankfulness is first of all a matter of obedience (1 Thess. 5:18; Eph. 5:18), but it is also a characteristic of a Spirit-filled believer (Eph. 5:18-20).

2.    Second, learn to rest in God's providence. If we truly know God, we know that He is unfolding His agenda and purpose in our lives. He has sovereignly determined each part of His plan for us so that we'll be benefited and He'll be glorified (cf. Rom. 8:28). We should not be surprised or ungrateful when we experience trials because we know that God sees perfectly the end result (cf. 1 Pet. 4:12-13).

3.    Third, learn to be satisfied with little. Paul had learned to make the choice to be satisfied with little, and he knew it was important for others to learn to make that same choice. In 1 Timothy 6:6 Paul exhorted a young pastor with these words: Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. Paul understood that covetousness and contentment are mutually exclusive.

4.    Fourth, learn to live above life's circumstances. That's how Paul lived. In 2 Cor. 12:9-10 he wrote, Most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul didn't take pleasure in the pain itself, but in the power of Christ manifested through him in times of infirmity, reproach, persecution, and distress. We also should learn to take pleasure in the power of Christ in times of distress.

5.    Fifth, learn to rely on God's power and provision. The apostle Paul wrote, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me; and Jesus said He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). Like Paul, we can learn to rely on Christ's promise. He faithfully infuses every believer with His own strength and sustains them in their time of need until they receive provision from His hand (Eph. 3:16).

6.    Finally, become preoccupied with the well-being of others. Paul summarized this mindset in Philippians 2:3-4: Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. A self-centered man is a discontented man. But the soul of the generous man, the man who lives for the interests and benefit of others, will find blessing upon blessing in his life (see Prov. 11:24-5; 19:17; Luke 6:38; 2 Cor. 9:6).

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Fear This! Part 2


Fear This! Part 2
Luke 12:4-5

Understanding God’s Wrath

God was not wrathful when there was no sin. God’s wrath is not an essential aspect of his character. Rather, God’s wrath is the product of God’s holiness and justice.

The “Fear of The Lord” is a fear of this holy and just God’s response to sin and unrepentant sinners.

  I. Defining the “Fear of the Lord

·   The Hebrew and Greek words for “fear” and “reverence” vary.

·   The "fear of the Lord" should include a place for "trembling.”

A proper "fear of the Lord" would then include...

·   Reverence and Awe

·   Being afraid to offend God in any way.

·   A trembling and quaking if one knows they have offended God and have not obtained forgiveness.

II. The Importance of the "Fear of the Lord

·   Hope springs from confidence in a powerful God.

·   I sense truth when I see God.

·   I rest in the power of this great God!

·   My life is insecure when I try to please men.

·   God is never changing.

·   Life becomes simple when I follow God.

Without the "fear of the Lord"...

·   We close ourselves to the treasures of God's wisdom and knowledge!

·   We will flirt with evil and be corrupted by it.

·   Our lives are likely to be shortened by our refusal to heed God's word.

·   We will not come to know the love of God that gives us assurance and confidence of our salvation.

·   When fallen into sin, we will not be motivated to repent and turn to God!

·   We will not be motivated to truly "work out our own salvation!”

III. Developing the "Fear of the Lord”

·   The "fear of the Lord" comes through the Word of God!

·   The Word of God, properly used, will maintain a proper balance between the Fear of God and the Love of God.

·   Disciples who follow the Master will find the course demanding requiring effort and dedication each day.

IV. Wise People Still Fear God Jeremiah 5:22a

·   The fear of the wrath of God eternally for unbelievers drives men to repentance at the Cross. 

·   The fear of losing the presence of God through unrighteousness should drive believers to repentance as well.

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