Archive for February, 2014

Responding to Jesus’ Call

February 28, 2014

In the post Follow me, it was explained that Jesus came to bridge the chasm between God and man caused by sin. In doing so, He, as He did with Philip, says, “Follow Me” to provide resolution to meeting our need to belong. Andrew, Peter, and Philip are recorded as simply following Jesus when He called them to do so. He is calling all of us. The question is whether we are Responding to Jesus’ Call.

Let us return to John 1 to see how one should truly respond to Jesus’ call to “Follow Me”

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” 48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”

Andrew, Peter’s brother, after hearing and believing in Jesus gives us an example of Responding to Jesus’ Call. “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.” Andrew responded to Jesus’ Call by believing and then witnessing or telling his brother Peter about Jesus. Have you believed? If so, have you told those around you that Jesus is the Messiah, the Lord and Savior?

When Jesus found Philip, He told him “Follow Me”. Philip believed and followed Jesus. Then, “45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathaniel shows another dimension of Responding to Jesus’ Call. Nathaniel was not quite sure and needed some proof that Jesus was indeed God and could deliver on all that was promised in the Messiah. Jesus tells him where he was and what he said when he was there. The demonstration of Jesus’ omniscience and omnipresence helped Nathanael believe.

If you are a believer, you have responded to Jesus’ call to believe, but have you gone and told those around you, those whom you love? If you have not responded to Jesus’ call to believe in Him as Lord and Savior, what proof are you demanding that He show you? Responding to Jesus’ Call is what we all are required to do. Our choice will determine how we live this life and how/where we spend eternity.

 

Follow me

February 26, 2014

As social beings, one of our elementary needs is to belong. We all seek to satisfy our sense of belonging. How we go about meeting that need varies. In many instances, we seek belonging from those who may not be the most ideal. I am not sure what makes people select certain characteristics in people as criteria to belong. Regardless, we can be sure that the overarching belief is that primary reason is perceived to be one that benefits the person. I see this dynamic regularly as one who works with groups of people on a regular day. Males or females, it does not matter.

Jehovah, the one true God, through Jesus Christ has purposed to meet the need of belonging that He placed in man. I, along with millions of others, claim to be a follower of Christ. What does it exactly mean to when Jesus says, “Follow Me“? It would seem self-explanatory, but people tend to obscure Jesus’ meaning. Once more, we go to John 1 for our text for today.

43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

The Greek word used here for follow is akoloutheō (ä-ko-lü-the’-ō). According to Strong’s Concordance, it has two meanings:

  1. to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him

  2. to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple

Vine’s Bible dictionary offers this for the meaning of follow:

Follow, Follow After:

to be an akolouthos, “a follower,” or “companion” (from the prefix a, here expressing “union, likeness,” and keleuthos, “a way;” hence, “one going in the same way”), is used

(a) frequently in the literal sense, e.g., Mat 4:25;

(b) metaphorically, of “discipleship,” e.g., Mar 8:34; 9:38; 10:21. It is used 77 times in the Gospels, of “following” Christ, and only once otherwise, Mar 14:13.

Dictionary.com defines follow as:

1.  to come after in sequence, order of time, etc.: The speech follows the dinner.
2. to go or come after; move behind in the same direction: Drive ahead, and I’ll follow you.
3. to accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to: Many Germans followed
     Hitler.
4.  to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey: to follow orders; to follow advice.
5.  to imitate or copy; use as an exemplar: They follow the latest fads.
Generally, we all understand what it means to follow someone. It means for us to go in the same direction as he/she is going doing what he/she is doing the way that he/she does it. In our text today, Jesus shows that He seeks and calls man into relationship with Him. You see, we were created to be in union or fellowship with God, but sin short-circuited that process in our lives. Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”
Jesus came to bridge the chasm between God and man caused by sin. In doing so, He, as He did with Philip, says, “Follow Me” to provide resolution to meeting our need to belong. Andrew, Peter, and Philip are recorded as simply following Jesus when He called them to do so. He is calling all of us. The question is whether we are ignoring Him or following Him. In Matthew 10, Jesus says, “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.”
Jesus has given you a choice when He calls for you to “Follow Me”, but as it is with every choice, there are consequences. Which will you choose? Will you Follow Jesus or someone else to satisfy your sense of belonging? Choose wisely.

Grace in Place of Grace

February 24, 2014

The purpose of today’s post is to illustrate how we have our cake and can eat it too. How we have ice cream with a cherry on top. The point is that God had already given us something, grace, great, but He made it more special by giving us Grace in Place of Grace.

Grace is frequently found in the epistles written by Paul; however in Johns writings, grace only appears in  in this passage and in Revelation 1:4; 22:21. Ligonier Ministries shares that its use here emphasizes that salvation is a gift. The Reformation expressed this with the motto Sola Gratia (“by grace alone”)

We saw it first in this passage in verse 14 which refers to The Word’s incarnation manifests the gracious covenant-making and covenant-keeping character of God. Now in verse 16, we see God explaining that you were given mercy and grace in the Old Testament, but now that my one and only Son has come in the flesh, we all have received grace in place of grace already given.

16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.

How is grace defined? First, the Greek word used for grace is Charis (khä’-rēs). I could not possibly capture its full meaning here in so few words and few examples. Generally in Christendom, grace is accepted as God’s unmerited favor bestowed to man. In particular, it is applied to those who demonstrate their belief in Christ as The Son of God and Lord and Savior through surrendering their  lives to Him. This is a true believer.

What’s so extra about Grace in Place of Grace ? Through Christ Jesus, God has given us, true believers, an inexhaustible supply of grace (grace for grace) and truth, contrasting with an order of rigid laws and regulations given through Moses. While there was grace in the Old Testament, we all, if we have read, can think of how much more gracious God is to man today especially to believers. We receive grace Matthew Henry wrote “All we believers; as many as received him (John 1:16), received from him. Note, All true believers receive from Christ’s fulness; the best and greatest saints cannot live without him, the meanest and weakest may live by him.”

Grace in Place of Grace is abundance of grace, grace upon grace that is one grace heaped upon another; as skin for skin is skin after skin, even all that a man has, Job 2:4. It is a blessing poured out, that there shall not be room to receive it, plenteous redemption: one grace a pledge of more grace.

I am not sure if any of this is making sense. The ideas presented here by God are too grand for me to ever explain. May His grace be experienced by you in simply getting meaning out of reading it. In fact, that too is grace that we can ever read anything about Him and walk away with understanding.

Let me end by saying, the opposite of grace is wrath. Now, I am sure that we all have a keen sense of what wrath is as this is closely aligned to our character whereas the former is foreign to our nature. Christ is God’s manifestation of Grace in Place of Grace. Christ is not only the cherry on top; He is the sundae, the cup, the spoon, and the strength to eat it too.

 

The Word became Flesh and made His dwelling among us

February 22, 2014

Everyone believes something about God even that there isn’t a God. Of the three major religions, all have a holy book that is supposed to reveal what God wants us to know about Himself, ourselves and life and life thereafter. As a believer in Jehovah, I believe what He conveys about Himself through His Word. While I readily admit that I cannot present the truth of the trinity in a manner in which many may believe, I believe in one God expressed in three persons, God, The Father, God, The Son, and God, The Holy Spirit. I also believe in Galatians 3:11 which says “…the righteous will live by faith.”

In terms of my faith about Jesus, I simply believe Jesus is God. This has been the focal point of the past few posts that look into John 1. The Apostle John, who walked with Jesus, heard what Jesus told him and witnessed what Jesus did, tells us that Jesus is God.  You have to choose for yourself, but know this is what God says “We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:9-11

That being said, here is some testimony about The Word became Flesh and made His dwelling among us.

John 1:14
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

(link for verses below)

Galatians 4:4
But when the set time had fully come,(A) God sent his Son,(B) born of a woman,(C) born under the law,(D)

Philippians 2:7
rather, he made himself nothing(A) by taking the very nature of a servant,(B) being made in human likeness.(C)

Philippians 2:8
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death(A)— even death on a cross!(B)

1 Timothy 3:16
16 Beyond all question, the mystery(A) from which true godliness(B) springs is great:
He appeared in the flesh,(C)
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,(D)
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.(E)

Hebrews 2:14
14 Since the children have flesh and blood,(A) he too shared in their humanity(B) so that by his death he might break the power(C) of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil(D)

1 John 1:1-2
1 That which was from the beginning,(A) which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes,(B) which we have looked at and our hands have touched(C)—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared;(A) we have seen it and testify to it,(B) and we proclaim to you the eternal life,(C) which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

1 John 4:2
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh(A) is from God,(B)

The ball is in your court as to whether you will believe the testimony God has provided about Jesus. I will conclude with Acts 10:43 which says, “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” The Word became Flesh and made His dwelling among us to offer us the forgiveness of our sins that we would be able to have fellowship with God relating to Him as He originally purposed.

In Him was Life

February 20, 2014

John 1

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

At first read of In him was life, that verse seems to communicate that life, breathing and functioning, comes from Christ. There are several Greek words used for life in the New Testament. Here, zōē is used for life. According to Strong’s Concordance, our understanding appears to be confirmed as it defines life as 1. the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate; 2. of the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypostatic “logos” (Word) and to Christ in whom the “logos” put on human nature; 3. life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever.

In him was life conveys so much more about Christ than those four words taken independently. Those words are another affirmation of Jesus’ deity: the Son as well as the Father has “life in himself” (5:26). Who can give life other than God? I dare say none; thus, Jesus is equated with God. Furthermore, Jesus is called the Word; therefore Jesus is the Living Word as Jesus is called in 1 John 1:1-2, “the Word of Life.”Guzik says, “The Word is the source of all life. The ancient Greek word translated life is zoe, which means “the life principle,” not bios, which is mere biological life. This life is the light of men, speaking of spiritual light as well as natural light. It isn’t that the Word “contains” life and light; He is life and light. Therefore, without Jesus, we are dead and in darkness. We are lost. Significantly, man has an inborn fear towards both death and darkness.”

Vines conveys and confirms that death came through sin, Rom 5:12, which is rebellion against God. Sin thus involved the forfeiting of the “life.” “The life of the flesh is in the blood,” Lev 17:11. Therefore the impartation of “life” to the sinner must be by a death caused by the shedding of that element which is the life of the flesh. “It is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life” (id., RV). The separation from God caused by the forfeiting of the “life” could be removed only by a sacrifice in which the victim and the offerer became identified. This which was appointed in the typical offerings in Israel received its full accomplishment in the voluntary sacrifice of Christ. The shedding of the blood in the language of Scripture involves the taking or the giving of the “life.” Since Christ had no sins of his own to die for, His death was voluntary and vicarious, Jhn 10:15 with Isaiah 53:5, 10, 12; 2 Corinthians 5:21. In His sacrifice He endured the Divine judgment due to man’s sin. By this means the believer becomes identified with Him in His deathless “life,” through His resurrection, and enjoys conscious and eternal fellowship with God.

I believe that this confirms what God says through John that In him was life. Are you in Christ? Have you given your life to Christ? A life for life. Surrender to Jesus.

Jesus: The Lamb of God

February 18, 2014

In the post Manifest Destiny, I shared some of the aspects of who Jesus is to man. There some attributes that I wrote about and some that I did not. Other than being God, Jesus’ atonement for sin is the most pivotal attribute for man.

From the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation, God has provided the lamb as a sacrificial symbol. The lamb is always connected with God bringing man into fellowship with Him. The lamb is God’s provision to atone for sin. We saw this in John 1 where John the Baptist sees Jesus and exclaims “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

We are told in John 3:17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Romans 10 tells us “the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.””

Let Jesus: The Lamb of God atone for your sin.

Manifest Destiny

February 17, 2014

According to History.com, Manifest Destiny is a term for the attitude prevalent during the 19th century period of American expansion that the United States not only could, but was destined to, stretch from coast to coast. Manifest Destiny expressed the belief that it was Anglo-Saxon Americans’ providential mission to expand their civilization and institutions across the breadth of North America. This attitude helped fuel western settlement, Native American removal and war with Mexico. The phrase was first employed by John L. O’Sullivan in an article on the annexation of Texas.

I have continuously purported that the physical realm mimics the spiritual. In a spiritual context, I am submitting that Manifest Destiny expresses the belief that it is the believers providential mission to serve as a witness for the revelation of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Manifest is to make obvious, to make one easily understand, to make plain. Destiny is generally accepted to mean something that is predetermined to happen through inevitable or irresistible course of events.

Let’s take the past six days. There was a winter storm that showered the area where I live with ice and snow. Many lost power. I was in that number but not as long as others. What I did lose was internet service. This is why I have not posted anything since February 11. Coupled with that was that my phone, which has tethering capabilities, would not tether for three days. When it finally did, the speed was slower than dial-up. Well, during that time, I had to open my bible and read the Word of God from book. Imagine that? LOL. I guess God had been preparing me, since my wife told me our Pastor asked why he did not hear pages turning when he referenced texts. He realized that many used electronic devices. Well about three weeks ago, I broke my iPad and have been using the bible since then.

What does any of that have to do with the expressed belief that it is the believers providential mission to serve as a witness for the revelation of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, spiritual Manifest Destiny? Everything! God told me on Friday, February 14, to read John 1. As I read it, the words that amplified who Jesus is/was jumped off the page to me especially off the heels of Fear of Losing My Position. John 1 not only confirmed that message but also reaffirmed a new one, Manifest Destiny. You should read John 1.

In John 1, John, I mean God through John uses the Word to capture his witness of Christ as many things but all pointed to Jesus being God. I was so engulfed by the chapter that I read it and read it. It was the source of my Sunday School lesson with my kids. Let’s hear about who John, I mean God, told us Jesus is. God uses His Word and His Witness to Manifest, reveal, make plain who Jesus is.

  • In the beginning was the Word
  • The Word was with God
  • The Word was God
  • He was with God in the beginning
  • Through him all things were made
  • Without him nothing was made that has been made
  • In him was life
  • That life was the light of all mankind
  • The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it
  • The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world (v9)
  • The world was made through him
  • To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (v12)
  • The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us
  • We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (v14)
  • Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given (v16)
  • No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son (v18)
  • The Son is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known (v18)
  • The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

There is so much more  John said about who Jesus is/was, but in verse 31, John says “I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” He says this in response to the question asked by the Pharisees. They had sent men to ask “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” found in verse 25. John said in verse 34 “I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” It is in John’s response that shapes my perspective of my Manifest Destiny.

I clearly see my in Ephesians 2:10 which says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God created the opportunities for me to obey Him in His work to redeem man by revealing who He is in my life. Of Ephesians 2:10 Guzik wrote, “For we are His workmanship: God saves us not merely to save us from the wrath we rightly deserve, but also to make something beautiful of us. We are His workmanship, which translates the ancient Greek word poiema. The idea is that we are His beautiful poem. The Jerusalem Bible translates workmanship as “work of art.”” His creation – something new He has made of us in Jesus Christ. “The spiritual life cannot come to us by development from our old nature. I have heard a great deal about evolution and development, but I am afraid that if any one of us were to be developed to our utmost, apart from the grace of God, we should come out worse than before the development began.” (Spurgeon) Created in Christ Jesus for good works: That beautiful thing God is making of us is active in good works. These are just as much a part of God’s predestined plan as anything else is. These good works are valid evidence that someone is walking as one of God’s chosen.

It is not my job to save anyone. It is my Manifest Destiny to serve as a witness for the revelation of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. All my actions should be to reveal Jesus Christ to those in my horizon. John was well acquainted with who he was and who Jesus was. As a consequence, John lived out his purpose. I am getting better at learning who I am and who Jesus is. I concur with John that I have seen and I testify that Jesus is God’s Chosen One.”

What is your Manifest Destiny? What direction and path will it put you on? Will your perspective be flawed like those who sought to settle the West, or will it be apparent, obvious or plain that Jesus is Lord and you must believe and testify to that truth?

Fear of Losing My Position

February 11, 2014

Let’s face it, none of us want to suffer loss. When we think of missing out on things that we think, feel or believe we should have, we fight to maintain that treasured thing. That may be a relationship, a house, a job, or a family heirloom. In this modern social media age, I would even go as far as to say people don’t want to lose their “status”.

I saw this last week in attempting to resolve a conflict between two sets of girls. Each group has posted things about one another on Instagram. This is what led to the eruption when they actually saw each other at school. When an administrator asked them how could they resolve it, they did not offer any viable suggestions. When he suggested that they “unfriend” each other, one girl expressed her unwillingness to do that as another commented about that would bring her status down. She had a Fear of Losing My Position.

Whether trivial or not, the challenge we all face is deciding whether we will suffer loss. We only willingly suffer loss when we value the contending person, ideal or thing greater than that which we will lose. That’s called opportunity cost in economic terms. The same choice faces us spiritually as well. In John 12, we see people who had a Fear of Losing My Position.

41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.

42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

Those believers, as Matthew Henry phrased it, had a struggle between their convictions and their corruptions. They believed in Jesus but were afraid of losing their position. They did not want to be put out of the synagogue. In that time, there was “status” by being in the synagogue. The Word of God says, “they loved human praise more than praise from God.” Anytime that we value the approval of man more than the approval of God, we will make decisions that align with carnal desires rather than eternal desires. This creates actions that are opposed and results in a Fear of Losing My Position.

Even though some of the religious leaders believed in Jesus, those leaders would not publicly proclaim it, because they were afraid to lose their position. Where are you? In a world where people don’t mind “coming out” such as Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam, why are we afraid of “coming out” for Jesus? The same reason that the religious leaders were afraid to -“43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.”

David Guzik asks, “Is it possible to be a secret follower of Jesus?” He also answers, “Only temporarily; either the secrecy will cancel out the belief, or the belief will cancel out the secrecy.” Where are you? Do you have a Fear of Losing My Position. If so, what are you afraid of losing for Christ?

In verses 44-50 of John 12, Jesus makes a last, passionate appeal to the multitude. A final appeal to believe in Him and not fear disgrace and damage. Today, I urge you to firmly believe in Jesus. Decide that you will not have a Fear of Losing My Position. Decide that you will love the praise of God more than the praise of man. He will reward you for your faith.

For further study, compare those who love the praise of men, Rom. 1:25, with those who love the praise of God, Rom. 2:29. Which end would you prefer? Choose wisely.

I Will Show You Whom You Should Fear

February 10, 2014

Fear has been the topic de jour over the past few weeks. I have spent considerable time sharing how not to acquiesce to fear. Well, Jesus, in Luke 12, goes the opposite direction. Jesus says to those around “I Will Show You Whom You Should Fear” In that passage, Jesus tells believers not to fear persecution at the hands of man. Jesus goes on to tell those there whom they should fear.

The word used for fear here is phobeō (fo-be’-ō) which means to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away). Jesus tells us He will show us who we should be afraid. Who provides insight? We know from that pronoun that it is a person, but who is it? Let’s go to the Word to find out.

Luke 12:4-7

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Clearly, there is a distinction here. There are those who kill the body. Those who kill the body are said to have a limiting impact. While not small, all they can do is kill the body and can do no more. The implication is that after death their impact or reach to cause harm or fear stops. In comparison, Jesus tells us to “Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” This person’s impact or reach to cause harm or fear does not stop at the death of a person. This person should be feared because he has authority to throw you into hell.

Who has the authority to throw you into hell? “I Will Show You Whom You Should Fear” Jesus, who has been given the authority to judge (John 5:26-28). Jesus whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:41-43). God who through Jesus will judge the world with justice (Acts 17:30-32). God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1-3). James 4:12 tells us “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy.” Revelation 6:10 tells us “They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

I Will Show You Whom You Should Fear” It is clear from the Word of God that we should fear God the Father who will judge man through Jesus whom He has appointed as judge (John 5:30). Now that you have been shown whom you should fear, surrender and respond to Jesus, so that your eternal decision will not result in you being thrown into hell.

Fear: Facing the Giants

February 7, 2014

While talking with a coworker on Wednesday, he made a reference to Goliath. Then, he said that we are David. It made me reflect on the day nearly ten years ago when I sat in the Superintendent’s Office for an interview. He asked me how I, one who had never served in the position I was interviewing, would deal with the job demands. Immediately, these words came to mind and came out of my mouth. “Sir, I am like David, I have fought the bear and beat the bear. I have fought the lion and beat the lion. If this job is my Goliath, then you will pick me and God will give me the victory.”

Well, he picked me. I can’t say that I conquered that job like David conquered Goliath, but I can say that I experienced God like David. It was a tough job. I learned a lot about myself and navigating difficult and challenging situations. I learned more about Fear: Facing the Giants. Let’s go to the Word, so you can read the story for yourself. 1 Samuel 17.

In your reading, I hope you found more in your quest to learn more about Fear: Facing the Giants. I want to point out a few things God has spoken to me about. The Giant is any person, circumstance or situation facing you that, on the surface or humanly speaking, you have no way to experience victory. There is no way you can conquer that situation. That’s a Giant, but “27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”” (Luke 18:27) When the Angel Gabriel was talking to Mary about her Giant, he said “ For no word from God will ever fail.” God gave David a Word. God gave Mary a Word. God has given us a Word to help us with Fear: Facing the Giants.

You really should read 1 Samuel 17. to get a full view of God speaking to David and how David rose to Fear: Facing the Giants. Let’s look in through these excerpts from the chapter.

23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

THERE IS SO MUCH THERE THAT I DON’T HAVE TIME THIS MORNING TO SAY IT ALL. Shucks, I don’t even see it all, but what I do see is rich. It is full. I see the keys to Fear: Facing the Giants. What do I see?

  • David did not flee in fear
  • David did not think the fight was his, but realized that the Giant was fighting God not him
  • David did not lose heart on account of the giant, Goliath, but was ready to fight him
  • David did not listen to the limitation that others stated about facing the giant
  • David did not see the impossibility but saw how God had given him previous victories
  • David did not rely on his own power or strength but in the name of the Lord Almighty
  • David did not believe he could save but God could
  • David did not see the battle as his but God’s (2x)
  • David did not flee but faced fear in the Giant
  • David did not rely on tools or strategy that was untested by him; he used what he knew
  • David did not fail to accomplish what he believed God empowered him to do. He cut off “that” head.

Again, there is so much here. Just read it and let God speak to you about Fear: Facing the Giants. Be blessed