How the Love of God Is Perfected in You

Its often easy to tell where people are from based on how they talk. John is making a very similar point in 1 John 2:3-8. Jesus makes a different kind of person. God teaches His children to think differently, talk differently, walk differently, react differently. It is tangible. It shows where they are from. John is making it clear that the greatest earthly blessing that human beings can experience is to be delivered from ourselves, and become a person who is quite unlike us. This is what God does. He calls us out of ourselves and into Him. And when this happens, He begins to perfect us in love. He brings us a superior life. He blesses us with better promises. He brings a better covenant. He calls us to live by better commands. To exist in this state is what it means to know Him and be in Him and to abide in Him – truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him – the love of God is being perfected.

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Fear of God Devotional: Why We Fear God

How do we grow in our fear of God?

Jason Dohm explains that most people don’t choose the things they fear – rather, fear is normally a response to something. Similarly, the fear of God is also a natural response that comes about when we understand who God is. We grow in our knowledge and understanding of God from reading the Bible and learning what He is like.

We are ignorant of what God is like until we go to His revealed Word and He shows us what He is like. Once He does, the fear of God naturally results. The more we grow in our knowledge of God, the more we fear Him. Put simply, we can’t increase our fear of God without increasing our knowledge of God. This fear of God is stimulated when we understand who God truly is.

Romans 11:33 (NKJV) – “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Fear of the Lord in Culture

How was the fear of God present in early America?

Carlton McLeod explains that the fear of the Lord impacts culture. It did at one point in America. The fear of the Lord produced a society that honored God’s name, that honored pastors, elders, the home. These characteristics were present even in non-church goers.

By and large, the church was very home and family-centered. God’s Word was honored. There was more respect for elders. There was a certain decorum in dress. The fear of the Lord was embedded in the culture at large. However, we have since lost the blessing of having a culture that acknowledged that there is a God that will one day judge them for their actions.

Revelation 15:4 (NKJV) – “Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.”

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Fear of God Devotional: When Pastors Fear Man

What does it look like when a pastor fears man more than he fears God?

Clarence Simmons explains that this kind of pastor will shun away from certain truths. He will only preach certain things to appease his congregation. He will never preach something that would upset an influential member of the congregation. Why do they do this? No one likes controversy and we all want to be liked. No one wants to be hated.

Yet, when we preach, our focus cannot be on our congregation. Rather, it must be on God alone. No matter how the congregation reacts, we cannot cater our message to them at the expense of compromising Scriptural truths. If we do that, the fear of man becomes the moving instrument in one’s ministry and not the fear of God. We are to preach the Word of God regardless of what men might say because it is God’s Word.

Proverbs 29:25 (NKJV) “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”

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New Testament Survey – 1st & 2nd Peter – Listen Live at 5:00pm EST

As we are seeking to be refreshed by the early church we encounter Peter who desires his readers to recognize how they are kept by the power of God. Peter is writing to a despised and persecuted people. On July 19, 64AD, a fire broke out in Rome. The flames licked up large parts of the city and both mansions and hovels were destroyed. The fires burned for three days and three nights. There were rumors that Nero had his men all over town trying to hinder people from putting out the fires. Nero identified a scapegoat – the Christians. A savage outbreak of persecution ensued. Peter brings practical instruction to those who are suffering the fires of persecution. While he gives them much practical instruction, his main message is that they will be kept by the power of God. In his second letter, Peter is concerned about the progress of false teachers. He instructs the church what will happen to the false teachers and how they ought to respond. 

Listen Live @ 5:00PM EST

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Fear of God Devotional: What Happens to a Country When Civil Magistrates Do Not Fear God

When leaders of a nation do not fear God, the results are disastrous.

Mala Chindongo illustrates this idea by explaining how in Malawi, the economy is in shambles. Millions of people are struggling just to make ends meet. He explains that the reason why this happened is because Malawi had leaders who did not fear God.

The leaders were involved in financial corruption and they and their people have suffered the consequences.

If only they feared God and believed that He is omnipresent and omniscient and that nothing they do, even in secret, would be hidden, things would be much different. Yet, we are sadly seeing the harvest of what evil leaders have sown many years prior.

Are we setting a good example of fearing God for those around us?

Psalm 146:3-4 (NKJV) – “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish.”

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I Just saw the Film, Polycarp

Our family watched this recently…Polycarp.  I highly recommend it.  If you have small children, here is my recommendation: watch the film and then read the following books on Polycarp, Ireneaus of Lyons and Ignatius and to your children.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Fear of God and Personal Boldness

How does the fear of God give us the courage to stand up to evil men?

Craig Houston shares Proverbs 28:1, which says: “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” He explains that this passage relates to the fear of God. When you fear God, it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, you can stand. You can be as bold as a lion.

There are numerous examples of men and women who feared God more than man and were even willing to die because they would not disobey or dishonor God. For instance, Daniel was willing to be thrown into the den of lions because he would not obey a wicked king. He trusted that God was able to protect him. Instead of fearing what man could do to him, he feared God more and went and prayed in the window three times a day.

We need to be Christians who fear God, are as bold as a lion, and are unwilling to bow down to today’s culture in disobedience to God.

Ephesians 6:12-13 (NKJV) – “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

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The Fear of God and Church Beauty

Here is Christ’s tenderness and compassion towards His people in their guilt from sin.

 John is speaking of what makes a true church. What makes a church happy and humble and sweetly composed before God? He answers How do you get the junk out of a church; how God purifies His church; How God humbles His church so that they are not puffed up; How He keeps His church from legalism; How the church roots out sin? How the Lord keeps His church keep from being fake? 

This passage displays a beautiful picture of church life. It is a life of, confession, forgiveness and cleansing. It’s center of this beautiful life is relationship with the Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous. His sacrifice appeased the wrath of God (propitiation). It is a fellowship of truth tellers instead of liars. There is no deception. It is a place of glorifying the Father instead of making Him a liar.

He does all these things through confession of sin:  “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,”  1 John 1:9.

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Fear of God Devotional: When a Church Fears God

What does it look like when a church fears God?

Jason Dohm explains in this video that when a church fears the Lord, there is a great carefulness to conduct the life of a church according to what God has said in His Word. Instead of being governed by their own thoughts or desires, a church that fears God desires to submit to the commands of Scripture.

On the other hand, if a church doesn’t want to be regulated by Scripture, that most likely indicates a loss of the fear of God. When a church ceases to fear God, they are free to ignore God. People can do what they believe is wise, rather than what God has said we ought to devote ourselves to. If we truly believed that God is the God of the Bible, we would act according to His Word.

Psalm 86:11 (NKJV) – “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Fear of The Lord

How does the fear of God manifest itself in the life of both an unbeliever and believer?

Carlton McLeod explains that the fear of the Lord is manifested in the life of a believer by the love, reverence, awe, and passion that prompt the believer to obey God. It is the state of mental and emotional sanctification where the believer sees God as holy, and a reverent trembling results. It is the necessary characteristic of Christian discipleship where total obedience to the commands of Christ is seen as a loving response to a loving God.

It is a behavior-restraining element even in the hearts of those individuals who do not follow Christ. It is a cultural acknowledgment in the hearts of man regarding the laws of God. It is a necessary component to a godly society and it is an understanding that God will one day judge the earth and all who ever lived.

Romans 14:11 (NKJV) – “For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Purpose of Chastisement

What is the purpose of chastisement?

Clarence Simmons explains in this video that the purpose of God’s chastisement can be found in Hebrews chapter 12. That purpose is to conform us more to the likeness of God and to the will of God, that we may be holy. This involves a cutting off of all things that are not Christ-like.

While the chastisement is certainly not pleasant, we must realize that God disciplines us so that we can be fruitful and be holy. He is making us more like His Son. God chastens us when we rebel and sin against Him instead of letting us go astray and continue down a path that leads to destruction. How merciful and good He is!

Hebrews 12:5-6 (NKJV) – “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Essence of the Fear of God

Do you struggle with fearing man more than you fear God?

Craig Houston points us to Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

He explains in this video that this truth should apply throughout all of life. In all of our ways, we are to fear God. Fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. While we are to fear God, we are not to fear man or what man can do to us. Rather, we are to fear the One who holds life and breath. The worst that man can do is kill the body. The worst that God can do is to send sinful men to hell. God is worthy of being feared, trusted, and obeyed.

Matthew 10:28 (NKJV) – “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

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Chapel Library – A Treasure Trove of Biblical Wisdom

Don’t forget to visit Chapel Library often. They have some of the most significant books and pamphlets available today – a rich treasure trove. You can download hundreds of titles and even take courses that will grow your faith.

For example… If you are called to be a pastor, check this series by Al Martin. This is a series that has helped many to see what faithfulness in pastoral ministry looks like.

Unit 1: Essential Elements of a Biblical Call

Unit 2: Essential Elements of Effective Pastoral Ministry:In the Man

Unit 3: Essential Elements of Effective Pastoral Ministry:In the Message (Part 1)

Unit 4: Essential Elements of Effective Pastoral Ministry:In the Message (Part 2)

Unit 5: Essential Elements of Effective Pastoral Ministry:In the Act of Preaching

Unit 6: Essential Elements of Effective Pastoral Oversight

Unit 7: Essential Elements of Effective Pastoral Oversight

Unit 8: Essential Elements of Effective Pastoral Oversight 

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Fear of God Devotional: Identifying the Fear of God in the Charismatic and Prosperity Gospel Movements

What are the effects of straying from the clear commands of Scripture?

Mala Chindongo explains that it is critically important for us to develop the fear of God in our hearts. There has to be a devotion to what God has revealed about Himself in His Word. In short, there ought to be a clear devotion to the Word of God.

This devotion to reading and studying Scripture cultivates a fear of God. We glimpse His love and what He has done for us through Jesus Christ. We also see His wrath, His warnings, and examples of God pouring out His wrath upon the disobedient.

Unfortunately, there is little devotion to God’s Word within the charismatic and prosperity gospel movement today. And if there is no devotion to God’s Word, it should not surprise us that there will not be a fear of God and obedience to the commands of Scripture.

Matthew 4:4 (NKJV) – “But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

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