Fear of God Devotional: The Control Freak Father and the Fear of God

Have you considered the effects of your uncontrolled anger?

Kevin Swanson explains that when fathers erupt in anger, lose control of their tongue, and throw things in the presence of their families, they are really trying to dispense of God’s authority. Man’s wrath is not a righteous wrath, as God’s wrath is. By repenting of that anger and allowing God to be God, fathers allow their families to recognize that their father honors God. God is the righteous judge – it is not our place to usurp His authority.

James 1:19-20 (NKJV) – “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

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Don’t Shrug Your Shoulders at God

In Isaiah 66:14-24 – the final section of Isaiah – people are looking at a spectacle. It is a picture of His people seeing two things: In the previous verses, they see the blessings of having a mother, the church, feeding them and the Lord Himself comforting them. There are two things that are happening in the world. God is blessing His people, who tremble at His Word, and He is destroying those who shrug their shoulders. They do not want Him. God is saving His flock and threatening the impostors who hate the flock.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Patience of God Toward Those Who Do Not Fear Him

How do you view the judgments of God?

Jason Dohm explains in this video that when we think about the judgments of God, we often can mistakenly think of them being “snap judgments” of God, something that He does because He runs out of patience.

But, this is not the case. God mercifully warns us so often before He ultimately does judge. He does not act impulsively. He has given us His law. In fact, He has often judged after centuries of warnings. When He does bring judgment, often after mercifully delaying it, that judgment is right – it cannot be questioned as being “unfair” by a sinful people who have been warned multiple times of impending judgment for their sin.

Numbers 14:18 (NKJV) – “‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Clarence Simmons on His Greatest Fear

As a pastor, how should the fear of God affect how you shepherd your church?

Clarence Simmons explains that God will hold men accountable for not only how they handled the Word of God but also how they shepherded the people of God. One of our greatest fears should be deviating from Scripture.

Being in ministry is the most joyful and distressing job there is because you’re accountable to God. You can’t afford to play around with Scripture and with the flock. We must realize that this is the flock of God. Instead of being served by the flock, they are to serve the flock. Pastors are to teach their congregation \Scriptural truths, not catchy illustrations that will tickle their ears.

2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Understanding the Pre-Incarnate Glory and Suffering of Jesus Christ

How do you view Jesus Christ?

Paul Washer explains that to comprehend who Jesus Christ is, we must look at both the pre-incarnate glory of Christ and the suffering of Christ. They must be both understood together. We can’t understand Christ’s humility until we first understand His exaltation. People wrongly think of Jesus as always being this humble carpenter, as someone who began in Bethlehem. But, Christ is eternal, He has always been the mediator between God and creation.

The Son has always been everything in the mind of the Father. To think that Christ humbled Himself, became a man, and suffered the death on Cavalry is astounding. The Gospel leads us to pursue true holiness. We’re motivated by the love of God in giving us His most precious gift, Jesus, and Christ’s humility and death on the cross.

1 John 4:10 (NKJV) – “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

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What Is the Fear of the Lord?

Charles Bridges gives an excellent definition of the fear of the Lord in his book “An Exposition of Proverbs”, he writes:

But what is the fear of the Lord? It is that affectionate reverence, by which the child of God bends himself humbly and carefully to his Father’s law. His wrath is so bitter, and his love is so sweet; that hence springs an earnest desire to please Him, and  — because of the danger of coming short from how his own weakness and temptations — a holy watchfulness and fear; that he might not sin against Him.” (Heb. xii. 28, 29.)

Bridges, Charles. An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs. New York: R. Carter, 1847. Print. p. 3-4

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Fear of God Devotional: A Nation’s Self Destruction Without the Fear of God

What happens to a nation that abandons its fear of God?

Kevin Swanson explains that a world that will not fear God is a world that will self-destruct. We have already seen devastating mistakes in the scientific field, for instance. Man has become too proud in his science because he has abandoned the fear of God within the sphere of science.

In our schools, we have abandoned the fear of God, and unsurprisingly, our nation has raised children who have no fear of God. Because universities have refused to teach the fear of God for over 150 years, there already have been and there could be further serious consequences for man’s refusal to fear God in life.

Isaiah 59:2 (NKJV) – “But your iniquities have separated you from your God;

And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”

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How to Have The Tenderest Understanding and Bond Between Fathers and Daughters

Fathers and daughters should have the tenderist understandings between them. This Psalm declares what I believe should be one of those common understandings. 

This Psalm is a helpful guide for how fathers and daughters can have an intimate understanding and agreement about what is happening in this world, what is happening to them, what forces are really at work, and who is walking with them through their trials and tribulations.

I pray that we all would have a mighty bond on the sound and tender principles of Psalm 23.

Here is a message which explains it:

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Fear of God Devotional: The Fear of God in Your Life

How do you grow in the fear of God?

In this video, Jason Dohm explains that your fear of God grows the more you read Scripture. Through our reading of Scripture, we understand who God truly is. The God of the Bible is a fearful God. The Bible tells us what God is really like – His thoughts and ways are higher than ours.

God’s Word says that the wages of sin is death. We think of death as a natural occurrence, something distinct from sin, but the Bible teaches that death is a result of sin. The Bible makes it clear that though God is merciful in giving a long life, He is under no obligation to wait for a set amount of years. This should cause us to be grateful for life and fear Him for He controls the giving of life, the sustaining of it, and the taking away of it.

1 Samuel 2:6 (NKJV) – “The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.”

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Listen Live at 5:00pm EST – Survey of the Book of Titus

Paul’s letter to Titus is one of the most helpful guides for church life. On Tuesday at 5:00 I will be teaching through this book. Titus was a Greek convert, and pastor on the island of Crete. It was famous for laziness, relational tumults and immorality. Paul instructed Titus to put things in order in the churches.

Join us live at 5:00pm EST here:

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Fear of God Devotional: Training Children to Know the Fear of God

How can we help our children to understand the fear of God?

It is incredibly important for parents to train their children to have a fear of God. As parents, we should be helping and encouraging them to grow in this knowledge, even at a young age. However, this may be a difficult concept for children to grasp initially.

Joel Beeke explains that to help children understand what the fear of God means, he tells them that the fear of God means that you value the smiles of God more than the smiles of people, even that of your parents. Also, you value the frowns of God rather than the frowns of people.

Colossians 3:23 (NKJV) – “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,”

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Let the Church Become a True Family Again

In the last 150 years a massive shift occurred in church and family life, completely changing the sociology of the church. This resulted in shifting the discipleship methodology from a biblical model to a secular model patterned after public education and youth culture. This was unprecedented in the history of the church. It was so different that it transformed the nature of church discipleship, the discipleship agenda of the family, and even the entire way the family related to the church. It actually transformed the structure of the family. It was truly a mega-shift. But it happened so slowly that almost nobody noticed. What happened?  Discipleship in the church gradually became age segregated, where the duties assigned to the family were handed off to church workers. 

Why is the modern church age segregated? Why are the teenagers almost always worshipping and learning separately from the adults? Why are the senior citizens separated from the younger generation? Who thought it was a good idea for thirteen- to sixteen-year-olds to develop their own culture? Why is it that, in most churches today, the whole organizational structure is based on age segregation? The answer is simple: we have set aside the practices of the Word of God for the sake of our traditions.

If we had the Bible alone

If we only had the Bible as our guide, would children be separated from their parents during the meetings of the church? Would we set up children’s church? Is there any biblical explicit evidence for nurseries? Did the apostles ever organize a Sunday school, a youth rally, or any kind of age-segregated gathering? Are there any commands or examples to follow in Scripture for age segregation? Of course, the answer to all of these questions is no. The disciples suffered rebuke from their Master for trying to keep the children away. Let us bring our children back into the meetings of the church in the way that is consistent with both the Old and New Testaments.

The current design for discipleship breaks the church into a fragmented sociology of interests and ages. It creates new sub-cultures. It actually raises a social structure that stands in sharp contrast to Scripture, as the following chapters will illustrate. The real problem, however, is that it matches poorly with the clearly communicated contours of Scripture.

How do we make our way back to a biblical model of discipleship in the church and family? We must return to the beautiful design for the church.

God’s ways are beautiful

Think about how God has ordered His people in the church.  He makes them a “family” (Matthew 12:49-50; 1 Corinthians 1:10), “a body” (Ephesians 1:22-23), a “building” (1 Peter 2:5), a “flock” (Acts 20:28), a people for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:9). He gathers people from every tongue, tribe and nation, as brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers in the faith. He brings them together as “one body” (Romans 12:4-5). They are a spiritual family. He brings them together rather than separating them according to age. This is His beautiful design. It is beautiful in so many ways.

Imagine with me a church without a generation gap. The whole family worships together. Marrieds and singles and old and young and people from whole families and broken families worship together. A little child hears the singing and preaching while in his father’s or mother’s arms. This is a church where the biblical pattern of age-integrated discipleship is practiced.

Imagine a church, like the churches in Ephesus and Colossae, where it is assumed that the oldest to the youngest are involved together in discipleship, worship, celebration, and service (Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:20).

Imagine a church where fathers and mothers are daily fulfilling their responsibility to teach their children the Word of God in their homes. 

Imagine a church where the excesses of youth culture are minimized and teenagers are growing wiser by walking through life with the older members of the church. 

Imagine a church where every fatherless boy or girl worships and serves alongside mature spiritual fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers. 

Imagine a church where groups of all ages talk together and minister to one another.  

Imagine a church where the older teach the younger, the younger appreciate the older, and the older are energized and motivated by the youth.

This is a church where Scripture is sufficient for the discipleship of all ages, where Christ is the focus, where traditions bow to the Word of God, and where the generations walk together—and love doing so. This is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let the church become like a family again. 

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Fear of God Devotional: When There is no Fear of God, What Does the Heart Look Like?

Does an unregenerated heart have a fear of God?

Clarence Simmons explains that an unregenerated heart wants nothing to do with God. Rather than loving God, that person is a God-hater. In short, their heart is a cesspool of uncleanness. There is no spiritual understanding and no seeking after the things of God. All are inwardly corrupt and there is none that is righteous.

Yet, God can overcome even the hardest of hearts. His power is supreme and no one can resist His will.

Isaiah 14:27 (NKJV) – “For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?”

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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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