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The Fear of the Lord

“He paid the ransom for His people, He ordered His Covenant kept forever.  He’s so personal and holy, worthy of our respect. The good life begins in the fear of God— Do that and you’ll know the blessing of God. His Hallelujah lasts forever!” (Psalm 111:9-10 The Message).

The fear of the Lord produces obedience in your life which leads to greater spiritual understanding. The fear of the Lord is a reverential love for God and a hatred of sin.  The fear of the Lord generates an understanding of God’s Word, His works, and His ways. The good life begins in the fear of God.

Eternal Faith

“All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth.  Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:13-16 NLT).

Faith is the greatest power on earth. Hebrews 11 helps us to see faith through the faithfulness of ordinary people like  Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah.  These ordinary giants of faith walked with an inward conviction from God that He would perform everything He said. Faith empowers us to see what others cannot see. Faith empowers us to do what others cannot do. The best way to learn to walk in faith is to be joined in walking with others who are faith-filled.

Our faith grows as we follow and fellowship with God.  When we diligently seek Him we experience His pleasure.  Being in the Word, worshipping Him, and walking in His ways help us to walk in faith.  We obey and follow God even when we don’t understand how He will accomplish His will.  The Patriarchs of faith were not perfect in their actions, but they pleased God as they walked with Him.  They died before they saw the completion of what God had promised.  They saw the promise and welcomed it for the future generations who would receive it.  They agreed that they were looking forward to a country that they could call their own, a heavenly homeland.  Without faith it is impossible to please Him.

Bold Entrance

“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God,  let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:19-23 NKJV).

You have an open invitation to enter God’s presence. Jesus made a new way for you through His shed blood.   He is the faithful Promiser who gives you confidence and boldness to approach God. Run to Him, knowing that He is your freedom. Hold tight and refuse to let go of God the Promiser. Come into full agreement with God’s purposes for your life.  Refuse to let go of any part of it.

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men. For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalm 107:8-9 NKJV).

Whether you are experiencing adversity, trial, distress, affliction, sorrow, or oppression, the Lord is there to bring you out of captivity and into your promised inheritance.  It is His goodness that fills the hungry and His mercy that satisfies the deepest thirst of the soul.  Today, no matter what you are facing, give thanks to God for His goodness. Receive refreshment from the Redeemer who restores your hope and leads you home.

Turn and Live

“‘The upshot is this, Israel: I’ll judge each of you according to the way you live. So turn around! Turn your backs on your rebellious living so that sin won’t drag you down. Clean house. No more rebellions, please. Get a new heart! Get a new spirit! Why would you choose to die, Israel? I take no pleasure in anyone’s death. Decree of God, the Master. Make a clean break! Live!’” (Ezekiel 18:30-32 The Message).

Turn and Live. Ezekiel’s words are spoken to the Israelites to generate faith in a God who looks on their sins and forgives completely.  He called them to change their minds, turn from their sin, and seek a new heart and a new spirit.  God had promised them this new heart if they would seek Him fully (Ezekiel 11:19).

Today, you do not need to be stuck in past behavior.  You have freedom today to turn and live. You are not destined to stay stuck in past failures. Put your faith in God and turn around.

 

Complete Surrender

“Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols”’ (Ezekiel 14:4-5 NKJV).

The elders of the exiled people came to Ezekiel to hear a word for their situation.  God spoke to Ezekiel’s heart, that though these elders were outwardly seeking God, they had hidden idols in their hearts.  They drew near to God with their words, but not with the complete surrender of their hearts.

Anything that replaces God in your devotion and obedience is an idol in your heart. What you have in your heart determines what you think, feel, and do.  Believing and embracing the false prevents you from knowing and receiving the true and results in your being distanced from God. Today, turn to God and turn away from hidden idols of your heart. Let Him recapture the devotion of your heart completely.

Be careful

Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ” (Hebrews 3:12-15 NLT).

Continue in Faith. Don’t settle for a one time experience.  Walk intimately with Christ, guarding your own heart from unbelief and deceit that causes you be distracted by the world, turning away from the living God.  Don’t go back to the world’s system of compromise and bondage. Do not refuse God’s perfect will for your life by stubbornly going your own way. Be devoted. Keep your heart soft.  Trust that if you believe firmly in God that you will share in all of the inheritance that is yours in Christ Jesus.

A New Song

“Sing to God a brand-new song. He’s made a world of wonders! He rolled up his sleeves,  He set things right. God made history with salvation, He showed the world what he could do. He remembered to love us, a bonus to his dear family, Israel—indefatigable love. The whole earth comes to attention. Look—God’s work of salvation!” (Psalm 98:1-3  The Message).

Do you sing God a brand-new song every day?  Do you thank Him for the wonders of His salvation in your life? Are you thankful for His overcoming power?  Begin today with a song of praise in your heart.  As you magnify Him in your words and meditate on Him in your song, you will gain a new perspective of life in Him.

The Prize

“As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8 NLT).

Paul was at the end of his victorious life.  Though he faced certain death because of his faith in Christ, the eternal prize was his.  His time was short as he awaited his trial in Rome. He did not fear death, but he saw his life as being poured out as an offering to God.  He looked back with no regrets, having served faithfully.

The crown of righteousness is God’s reward for a life lived in obedience to His will.  This prize awaits you if you do not give up.  Pour out your life as a sacrifice to others.  Fight the good fight of faith.  Don’t get distracted or slowed down with the pressures of life.  Finish the race confident of the prize that awaits you.

Remain Faithful

“But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Timothy 3:14-17 NLT).

Timothy had learned the truth of God’s Word since he was a child.  His mother and grandmother had been faithful to teach him. Paul proclaimed the sacred use of the written Word, saying that all Scriptures have been God-breathed.  The Scriptures are profitable “for doctrine (what is right), for reproof (what is not right), for correction (how to get it right), and for instruction in righteousness (how to stay right)” (The Warren Wiersbe Bible Commentary, page 782).

The Bible equips you to do God’s work. As you continue in the study of the Word of God, He will use you to help others understand His Word.  Remain faithful to the things you have been taught, and begin to teach others also.