Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Fear of the Lord!

Matthew 10:28

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

IMG_0435-0In this day an age – we often hear about politicians who have special interest groups supporting them. These special interest groups often try to put pressure on the candidates to vote certain ways or to take a stand on issues the way they would support. Some candidates fear their power and fear not getting their money!

One candidate for President this year – for the most part – has financed his own campaign – according to reports. It is what endears him to some voters – believing that he will vote the way he feels is right – not as special interest groups or supporters suggest. If a candidate is beholding to someone or some interest group – that can put real pressure on them as they serve.

In our society – often small – even tiny – segments of our culture can put pressure on politicians to get laws and decisions passed that support them and their interests. We see this all the time. We see this in church life as well at times.

In our faith walk – we often succumb to our desires instead of following the teachings of God. We succumb to temptations from Satan and follow his path rather than God’s. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Jesus was giving instructions to His followers – His disciples. Matthew 10:5–39 – These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. 9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household! 26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’  37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Jesus reminds us to not follow our desires – but rather His will. He reminds us to acknowledge Him and to follow Him rather than self or Satan – who can only take our life. We are to follow the One who has both our life and our eternity in His hands. He bought and paid for our lives and we are to live for Him rather than for ourselves. Salvation is free – but following Jesus is tough!

The fear of the Lord – is the beginning of wisdom – Proverbs 9:10 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. We are to fear and respect and be in awe of God and heed His words rather than succumb to the pressure from others – from ourselves – or from Satan.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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May 31, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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