Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What Does it Mean to Fear God?

      What does it mean to fear God? In Ecclesiastes King Solomon tells us in 12:13 "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." Psalm 33:8 "Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!" In contrast the Bible tells us in 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. Psalm 118:6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
     We see we are told to fear but yet not to fear. But if we look closer we can see that there are different kinds of fear. In Ec 12:13 and Ps 33:8 were talking about fear as giving respect or reverence to God. By fearing God you are showing respect by obeying and submitting to his word. Proverbs 8:13 "The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate." So fearing God you hate what God hates not because you are terrified of him, because you respect and love him. By fearing him you hate what God hates and love what God loves.
      To make it even more clear as to what the fear of God is. In Isaiah 64:8 it says, "But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand." We see God is referred to as our Father thus making us his children. We all had a mother and a father at one point in our life. Did we not respect them and obey them? Did we not have also a kind of fear towards them especially when we were going to be punish? There was also a fear that we would disappoint them in someway. Even if we were punish and we feared them, we still loved and respected them. We wanted to be just like them. That is exactly the way God wants us to look towards him to love him and also to fear(respect) him. Deuteronomy 10:12 "And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and your soul."
     Now lets take a look at the kind of fear that was mention in 1 John 4:18 and Psalms 118:6. This fear refers to something that may cause you to be afraid or to have pain or to feel threaten. God is not a tyrant. He does not punish us because he enjoys it. Ezekiel 18:31,32 "Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live." God sometimes has no choice but to punish the unrepentant soul. Hebrew 10:31 says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." James 2:19 "You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe---and shudder!"
     The ones that love God, to fear God means to respect and to revere. But to the ones that do not know or are against God, to fear God means to be afraid or to feel threaten. To me I look at God like my heavenly Father, I love and respect him but I do acknowledge his awesome power. I know I am like an ant to a giant but that giant loves me and he will not step on me. God is my loving Father and my friend, whom I also fear and love.                                                                                    (ESV)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why Does God Stay Out of Sight?

      Luke 12:42-46 42And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and the wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44Truly I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45But if that servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful." When Jesus said, 'will cut him in pieces' he is referring to scourging or lashing the servant, meaning the servant will be punish.
     In the verses above Jesus is referring to himself as the master. He went to heaven but on his arrival back to earth he expects his disciples to remain faithful. If they are faithful they will be awarded, if unfaithful they will be punish. His leaving them on their own puts them to the test; will they remain true to his teachings or will they abandon them?
     When you put an authority figure (someone who can punish you) in a room, you will be on your best behavior. You will not act according to your own desires as if you had freedom to do so. You will be trying to please the one with the authority so as not to be punish. Fear may be the only motivation for your actions and not your love for doing what is right or even respect for the authority figure. God wants to know who are his faithful children, when they think that he is away.
     2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. Hebrew 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
     So God wants us to come to him by putting faith in him. He wants us to willing come to him, not by sight but out of our love for him. God is righteous and he wants to know that his children will be righteous as well.                                                                                                                                                                                         (ESV)      

Saturday, January 10, 2015

What's Important (an insight)

     Matthew 5:40 "And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well." This verse is saying to me is that what we have materially should not be the most important thing in our life. You do that by freely handing the garment over to that person who is taking that item from you without harming him in the process. You show him by giving it to him that you place more value on something else than your physical belongings. If he wants something that you have, you say, "Here have another," by doing this you diminished the value of that thing before his eyes.
     Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." Jesus is again is telling us to place little value on our possessions and greater value on our inner relationship with God and our love for each other. The Bible has taught us this lesson over and over again throughout the scriptures.
     I have thought about other spiritual people within our world who live with less and try to gain a greater understanding about their existence. They look to God and within themselves for the answers. They do not seek satisfaction by having many things. They seek a closer relationship with God without having many distractions.
     I have thought about this statement; by having less you are less distracted. I think about it every time something of mine needs repairing or replacing. It seems to me the more you have the less time you have for the more important things in your life. In my opinion, the material things of my life have distracted me from growing closer to God. There are many different things in your life that will slowly distract you away from God. You want a closer relationship with him but over a period of time you can be so distracted that you find yourself distant from him.
     What's important? We are important. The ones who he created in his image. He loves us and not the things that we have. He wants us to grow spiritually not materially. He wants us to make more time so as to get to know him. He is saying to us, "Do not ignore me, I love you as my child, just call out to me and I will answer you."
     What I am trying to say to others and to myself is to make more time for God and less time for our material distractions. Place more value in the wisdom of God over the wisdom of the world. Do not not let the things of the world come between you and God.


Monday, January 5, 2015

God Is Awesome!

     I was reading Genesis (the first book of the Bible) the other day and ran across this verse. Genesis 28:17 And he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." The word awesome stood out to me because I heard it use by teenagers many times and there it was in one of the oldest books of the Bible, the first one no doubt. I became curious as to where else it was located in the Bible. Here are a few of the verses I found with the word awesome. These were taken from the English Standard Version Bible.
     Deuteronomy 7:21 You shall not be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God.
     Deuteronomy 10:17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.
     Psalms 66:3 Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
     Psalms 89:7 a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him?
     Psalms 99:3 Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is he!
     Job 37:22 Out of the north comes golden splendor; God is clothed with awesome majesty.

     So God is awesome! according to the scriptures and I do agree. Here are some slang words describing awesome: very impressive, excellent, outstanding, wonderful, cool and neat. I think God is everyone of those and even more. The young people of the world can express their feelings about God using their modern today vocabulary and say God is awesome and they would be totally right. God is awesome to us and to those who lived a long time ago.