Video for the week: House of Heros: God Save the Foolish Kings
This re-cap will be a little bit different than others in the past. I am not just writing to parents to let them know what we talked about but I’m writing to the students to clear up what the heck it was I was trying to say at Emerge. It’s my goal through this blog entry to clear that all up. Thanks for your grace as I struggled to get my main point across on Wednesday. I know I am loved because a number of you gave me a hard time on Sunday about me getting lost in thought. Nonetheless, it important to me to take the time to make sure we are all tracking together as we continue in 1 Peter. I would love to get last Wednesday back but I can…so that’s why we’re making this a part of the DEVO for this week.
Remember, I had you circle one word in 1 Peter 1:17-19. FEAR. Take a second and re-read those verses again. If you haven’t done so circle the word fear in vs. 17. This idea can be really confusing sometime. Here’s what I mean:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.” Psalm 111:10
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
These are two of many verses in the Bible that tell us that we need to fear the LORD just like 1 Peter 1:17 does. But see what another verse says:
“For God gave us a spirit not to fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
One time the Bible tells us to fear God and the other times it tells us that God did not give us fear? What the heck is going on here? Is the Bible coo coo or is it trying to get us to understand something bigger? I’m going with option B here.
The 2 Timothy verse above fits into the same category as Matthew 6:25-34. This verse tells us that we should not be anxious. This means that it is not from God for us to worry. The heart of worrying is a heart of not trusting God. God is in control of all things. Nothing happens to us where he says, “Wow, didn’t see that one coming.”
When we are anxious or when we worry about things, we are not taking our concerns to God. This is the perfect opportunity to talk to God when we are worried about something. We need to be able to tell Him the things on our hearts and trust Him with the details.
This is why 1 Timothy says God did not give us a spirit of fear…our sin gives us a spirit of fear.
There is a kind of fear that leads us to have deeper trust and a deeper relationship.
I think I’ve been pretty clear that my parents had no problem with spanking my three siblings and me. There is one thing that hurt me more than those spankings; it was when my mom would tell me that she was disappointed in me. I would take being spanked 5 times over before I wanted to hear how I broke my moms heart. Those looks of sheer disappointment she gave me were heart-dropping moments. My love was so great for my mom that I hated disappointing her. I hated hearing about how I broke her heart. I disliked it so much that it lead me to make better choices in life so I wouldn’t disappoint her or my dad. Through those days I grew to love my mom more and she trusted me more. It grew our relationship.
My parents had authority over me. I feared breaking her trust in me and I feared the discipline that would be dished out in return.
God tells us through the Bible that fear is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. Do you see that in my example above? Isn’t it true in our relationship with our parents? If it’s true there, how much more is it true in our relationship with our God?
1 Peter 1”17 says to “conduct yourself with FEAR through the time of our lives here on this earth (italics are my words).”
Fear? Fear of what?
“…and do not fear those who can kill the body but can not kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and boy in hell.” Matthew 10:28
The reason hell is so scary is because it is a real physical place where God is not. The tortures of hell sound terrible but the eternal separation from God is worse. Imagine a world with ZERO GOOD (no sunshine, no rain, no mountains, no beauty, etc) and that’s a greater picture of hell.
We as humans without God deserve death: physical death and spiritual death. It’s God that has power over death.
Our fear of God must be based on His power over death.
What does this mean for me?
Just as I feared my mom growing up, I didn’t make “right/obedient” choices based on being scared that she was going to throw me on the street if I chose wrong. Just like that, I do not make choices to love God based being scared that if I don’t He will throw me into hell.
God saved me from hell when I gave my life to Him and I decided to be a Jesus lover. Knowing what he saved me from has caused me to love him more and it destroys me when I make (sinful) decisions that break His heart.
I live in the fear of God. Re-read 1 Peter 1:17-19
“And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
I know where I was (even thought I was 7 years old when I gave my heart to Jesus) and I know where I am now. My deep love/fear of God pushes me to love Him more.
After you read this entry, check out this extra thought.