Fear of God Devotional: The Gospel and the Fear of God



How does the Gospel increase our fear of God?

In this video, Paul Washer explains that the fear of God is not the Gospel but is a product of the Gospel. The Gospel is grace and grace alone. Those who hear the Gospel, repent, and believe the Gospel are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are given new hearts, hearts that can truly fear God for who He is. The heart of stone that formerly rebelled against God is now one that can honor and fear God. This wondrous work of God working in the heart of an unbeliever naturally creates a fear of God, a feeling of awe when we see His work in our lives!

Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV) – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

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Two Aspects of the Fear of God

Here Al Martin defines the fear of God identifying two elements that we see in the Bible:

These two common uses of the word “fear” in the vocabulary of the people of biblical times (and also in some measure in our vocabulary) are both included in the biblical notation of the fear of God. There is a legitimate sense in which the fear of God involves being afraid of God, being gripped with terror and dread. Though this is not the dominant thought in Scripture, it is there nonetheless. The second aspect of fear, which is peculiar to the true children of God, is the fear of veneration, honor, and awe with which we regard our God. It is a fear that leads us not to run from him, but to draw near to Him through Jesus Christ and gladly submit to Him in faith, love, and obedience.

– Al Martin – The Forgotten Fear

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Fear of God Devotional: Maintaining Godly Fear in the Home



How can we better incorporate the fear of God in family worship?

During our times of family worship, Kevin Swanson explains that it is important to speak of God’s greatness and speak with reverential language – we’re in the presence of God. Often, we forget who we’re addressing when we do pray and we need to recognize who we’re speaking to before we open our mouths. It can be too easy to run through a prayer out of routine and not honor God with our words as we ought.

Psalm 19:14 (NKJV) – “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”

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Pray for These Pastors



Please pray for the following pastors Paul Carrington and I visited  over the weekend.

Pray for Adam Maddan. Click here to hear of his church planting efforts. in the Brigham City area of Northern Utah.

Pray for Paul Thompson, pastor of Eastside Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Pray for Tim Moyer, pastor of Emmanuel Bible Church in Star Valley Wyoming.

These men are laboring in a very difficult mission field – an area dominated by Mormonism. Here is what they are up against.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Fear of God in a Church Pastor



How should the fear of God affect pastors?

In this video, Jason Dohm explains that pastors have many opportunities to fear or be anxious about a variety of church issues. The job of a pastor is to faithfully bring the Word of God to their congregation – however, their congregation does not always interpret his words and actions in a positive light. Despite their worries that their congregation might react in a negative way, pastors should fear God and not their congregation. The success of their church is in the hands of Christ. If they labor faithfully and speak as He has called them to, they can have peace, knowing that they are pleasing God.

1 Peter 5:2-5 (NKJV) – “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Fear of God in Church History



How have Christians feared God throughout history?

In Augustine’s day, the fear of God was spoken of regularly. The idea of God being everywhere was a predominant theme in his writings. Today, however, we fear man instead of fearing God – what has changed?

Starting with the Middle Ages, the fear of God was incrementally done away with. After the Reformation, the fear of God was largely replaced with the fear of man. Today, America has lost her fear of God. For instance, Supreme Court justices take it into their own hands to redefine marriage.

Each time we knowingly sin, we are being a “practical atheist,” because we act as though God does not exist. At that moment, there is no fear of God.

James 4:17 (NKJV) – “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

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Fear of God Devotional: What It Means When You Don’t Want the Fear of God in Your Life



How do you identify an individual that does not have the fear of God?

Paul Thompson explains that there are a variety of characteristics typical of individuals who have lost their fear of God. This is a person who does not want God to be the ruler of their life because that keeps them from doing what they want to do.

Thus, they separate themselves from the local church and other believers and alienate themselves from godly things while replacing that void with the things of the world. There is no delight or longing to read Scripture and to know God in their life. Are there ways that you have lost the fear of God in your life?

Romans 12:2 (NKJV) “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

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Fear of God Devotional: How the Fear of God Changed Our Church



How can the fear of God change the way a church operates?

In this video, Carlton McLeod explains how he, as a pastor, was initially focused on what those attending his church would want instead of turning to Scripture to understand the will of God for church life. He realized that he would have to face God one day for how he led his congregation. He also understood how much he displeased God by leading the church himself instead of seeking God’s will. Ultimately, the fear of God led him to change various aspects of church life.

Galatians 1:10 (NKJV) “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Fear of God and A Sense of Sin



How does the fear of God impact our view of the cross, of God, and of sin?

Joel Beeke explains that once we have a fear of God, it allows us to better understand the seriousness of sin. This, in turn, drives us to the cross, where we see the all-sufficiency of Christ. The cross allows us to comprehend what Christ has done, the enormity of sin, and the greatness of God. This majestic view of God, His attributes, and His glory allows us to see God’s fingerprints throughout all of life – He is present everywhere and at all times. Even if no one else sees us committing a sinful act, He is present.

Psalm 139:7-10 (NKJV) – “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.

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How Children are Left Out in a Family Integrated Church

I am confident that worship and fellowship in a church should be age integrated, following the biblical patterns. There are many benefits… For example, in churches were this is practiced there is a heightened relational depth. The fellowship times last longer than in many churches. People get very connected. In most family integrated churches, the whole congregation eats lunch together after Sunday worship. It’s wonderful! The people stay around. It creates a relational fabric in the church that is a blessing. The pastors can get better connected with the flock. Families end up sharing dozens of meals together each year… It’s great!

But something often happens in the midst of this kind of wonderful setting.  Parents can get so absorbed in their fellowship and their ministry with other adults, two things often happen.

1. Children are left to themselves.
The children are simply left out of the conversations the adults are having. Result: there is a de-facto youth culture running underneath the adult fellowship culture. Parents take little effort to involve the younger ones in their conversations. What do you get: an age segregated family integrated church… You get disinterested uninvolved children because the parents are so focused on their peers… It creates a peer driven church under the guise of family integration.

2.  Children can be neglected.
The children are sometimes just waiting for their parents to finish their conversations. They wait and wait and wait while their parents are engaged in their lively conversations with their peers. I wonder how many children eventually become resentful because their parents are so wrapped up in their fellowship binge. They wait patiently. They have nothing to do. They just wait until their parents are done. Not very exciting – for the children. 

What should we do? 

We ought to be far more caring for our children. We should love them enough to engage them. I realize it takes more work to engage them… it requires fore thought and actual love for parents to be sensitive of their presence.

Here is my advice:

  1. Keep your children with you as much as is practicable and engage them in your conversations with other adults. Be aware of them and bring them into the conversations. Make these conversations valuable and interesting. Make them a joy. 
  2. Don’t neglect your children and allow situations where they are waiting around for you all the time. I realize it may be necessary from time to time, but don’t make them wait… It’s not something that you would do to your friends, and it’s not something that should be done very often to your children.
  3. Adults, seek out the children of your brothers and sisters in Christ. We are brothers and sisters. Seek to minister to the  young people. Pray for them. Engage them in conversation. Prov. 27:9-10 speaks of the way families should operate regarding friendship. Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.”  Here, Solomon recognizes a level of friendship and/or familiarity between a young people and the friends of their fathers. 

If we are going to have a family integrated church, we must remember to love the children as well.

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Fear of God Devotional: How the Fear of God Changed Our Church



How can the fear of God change the way a church operates?

In this video, Carlton McLeod explains how he, as a pastor, was initially focused on what those attending his church would want instead of turning to Scripture to understand the will of God for church life. He realized that he would have to face God one day for how he led his congregation. He also understood how much he displeased God by leading the church himself instead of seeking God’s will. Ultimately, the fear of God led him to change various aspects of church life.

Galatians 1:10 (NKJV) “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Is the Fear of God in Your Music?



How should the fear of God impact our music choices?

In this video clip, Kevin Swanson explains that the music a family listens to is very important and influential. Music can either keep or break the first commandment by how it reveres and honors God. Sadly, much of the music released today does not honor God.

It is a responsibility of fathers to discern whether music is or is not reverential and use God-honoring music in their homes. While there are many varied music forms and there may be slight variations from family to family, families ought to attempt to honor God through even the music they listen to.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV) – “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Fear of God and the Presence of the Lord



What would it be like if you stood before God?

Jason Dohm explains that in Scripture, we see that whenever people are before angels, the presence of God, or see a vision of God, they are undone and they are humiliated. In every instance, pride is crushed and replaced with a feeling of humiliation of how defiled they are in comparison to a holy God. No matter how “good” you feel you might be, that feeling of superiority instantly vanishes the moment we stand before a righteous God.

Psalm 5:5 (NKJV) – “The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity.”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Fear of God and A Sense of Sin



How does the fear of God impact our view of the cross, of God, and of sin?

Joel Beeke explains that once we have a fear of God, it allows us to better understand the seriousness of sin. This, in turn, drives us to the cross, where we see the all-sufficiency of Christ. The cross allows us to comprehend what Christ has done, the enormity of sin, and the greatness of God. This majestic view of God, His attributes, and His glory allows us to see God’s fingerprints throughout all of life – He is present everywhere and at all times. Even if no one else sees us committing a sinful act, He is present.

Psalm 139:7-10 (NKJV) – “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.

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Please Join me in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado

I’d love to meet you at the Colorado Father Son Retreat and the NCFIC Leaders meeting that precedes it.


Colorado Father Son Retreat:

Crooked Creek Ranch in Fraser, Colorado | September 1-4, 2016

Come to the Father Son Retreat for four days of fellowship, encouragement, and adventure with hundreds of other dads and sons in the heart of the Rocky Mountains:
– Family-style meals
– First-class log cabin lodging
– Challenging biblical messages
– Mountain activities
Curious what it’s like? Check out our wrap-up report, videos, and pictures from the 2015 Father Son Retreat.

Learn More and Register

NCFIC Leader’s Meeting:

Denver, Colorado | August 31, 2016

Defending marriage in our churches is a critical matter at this historical moment in America. Marriage has become a battleground. How do we as church leaders fight for a biblical view of marriage in our churches? How do we equip the saints? This will be the focus of Scott Brown’s presentation and the topic of discussion at the Colorado Leadership Luncheon.

You and your fellow elders, pastors and deacons, along with your sons and aspiring future church leaders are invited to an NCFIC Church Leadership Luncheon with Scott Brown, from 10:00am – 2:00pm on August 31st in Denver, CO.

Learn More and Register

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