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The Fear of The Lord, part 5
To me, the average Christian in America (specifically in the A/G) today allows themselves a freedom which is wholly incompatible with practical Christianity. It’s a freedom based on their own salvation rather than the mission of Jesus. When Missionaries Bill and Cheryl Gray are pulling out the dead body of some drug addict or alcoholic from the tent city which exists behind their property, do you think they have the time or the interest in getting into a discussion about whether or not Christians should drink or take drugs or participate in Halloween? Those are discussions for those who have no interest in the mission of Christ, who have no fear of God, and who laugh at Paul’s words in Galatians when he says, Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” I sometimes wonder if the church in America even knows Jesus today. Can you know Jesus and bear the fruit of the flesh? Can you know Jesus and have no regard for His mission, no fear of God in your life? I am pretty sure you cannot. I will add that a person can have the Spirit of God in them and be struggling with some of these fruits of the flesh - but that is not what I'm talking about.
I'm not talking about a person who is working at becoming more and more obedient to Jesus (I am one of those). I’m talking about those who call themselves Christian and have no desire to turn from their love of this world and defend it purely from a theological perspective, touting a grace without consequence. What that tells me is that they need a Saul experience: God needs to change their sight. God needs to knock them off of their high horse and put the fear of God into their heart so He can give them a mission in life, so that their life’s actions will be based on the accomplishment of that mission rather than just trying to fill the emptiness of living in the “way” a Christian should live. Now let’s go back to Saul’s salvation experience. Once he was (literally) knocked off his high horse, he heard the voice of God. Acts 9:4-6 “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who art Thou, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but rise, and enter the city, and it shall be told you what you must do.”
The first significant thing God did in Paul’s life was to show him his mission. “It shall be told you what you must do.” Acts 9:19-20 tells us more: “Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’” After Ananias prays for Saul (going onward in the book of Acts, Saul is called "Paul") to be filled with the Holy Spirit, Paul finds the disciples in Damascus and begins to proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God.
If I go back to what I said in the beginning of this study: the salvation experience is the final and complete expression of the Scriptures. Salvation is what this is all about; however the primary means for that to happen is through the proclamation that Jesus is the Son of God.
God saves us to get us to spread the Word. That is our mission + but that mission needs to get from our head to our hearts through coming into a greater sense of the fear of God. If it doesn’t get into our hearts it will merely remain in our heads and then we will just get into all types of justifications about our lifestyle.
But when we hold God in deep reverence and the fear of the Lord becomes Spirit-wrought deep within our being, then all of our actions will be based on asking yourself one thing: “Will what I’m doing advance the Kingdom of God in any way?” END
Medication (because laughter is the best medicine) A king was quite concerned about a decision he had just made, so much so that went to his chief adviser to ask his opinion of it. "Yeah, I'd say it's your worst decision yet," the plain-talking adviser replied. Confused, the king asked, "Yet?" To which the adviser replied, "Well, it's not so bad that I think you're incapable of making a worse decision." God Bless, Have a Great Weekend,
Pastor Brad Verse of the week: 1 Corinthians 15:58 Today's Bible reading(s): 2 Chronicles 32 - 33 Saturday: Nahum Sunday: 2 Kings 22 - 23 & 2 Chronicles 34 - 35