“Fearing God in an Anti-Christian Culture” July 21

 

"Fearing God in an Anti-Christian Culture" - With recent decisions in the courts, the temptation to just "go along because it's the law" will never be stronger, but we must choose whether to fear God or fear man in the increasingly anti-Christian culture we live in.

 

With recent decisions in the courts, the temptation to just “go along because it’s the law” will never be stronger, but we must choose whether to fear God or fear man in the increasingly anti-Christian culture we live in.

 

Today’s Readings:
Ezra 3 & 4
Psalm 86.11-17
Proverbs 21.17-18
Acts 22.1-30

 

Fearing God in an Anti-Christian Culture

 

Ezra 3 & 4:

Fearing God or Man?

 

"Fearing God in an Anti-Christian Culture" - With recent decisions in the courts, the temptation to just "go along because it's the law" will never be stronger, but we must choose whether to fear God or fear man in the increasingly anti-Christian culture we live in.In chapter 3, even though the people who returned to Jerusalem had the authority of the king behind them, there was still opposition from the people already living in the land.

Verse 3 says, “… fear had come upon them because of the people of those countries …” But in spite of their feelings they determined to do what was right and to worship God as Moses had instructed them to do.

Even though there is a move to restrict our rights as believers, we still have a great deal of freedom under the laws of our land. And while Romans 13 instructs us to obey those who rule over us, even that has limitations. Anytime someone in authority asks us to sin, we have a higher authority—that is God and His Word.

With recent decisions in the courts, the temptation to just “go along because it’s the law” will never be stronger. There will be times on the job (even when we are within our rights), with our friends, or in our families where we will feel fear—fear of being ridiculed, fear of being rejected, fear of what people will think, fear of being labeled unloving or intolerant, even in some cases, fear of losing our jobs or our businesses. But, we too, can do what’s right in spite of our feelings. 

We are to fear God and not man. The fear of God isn’t a cowering fear, but a desire to please Him, to care more about what He thinks than what other people think, and to choose to bring Him glory. It is a reverential respect for God and His Word.

Courage isn’t the absence of fear; it is doing what’s right in spite of it with His help.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Psalm 86.11-17:

Single Minded Fear

 

prayerVerse 11b says, “… unite my heart to fear Your name.” As I said above, we are to fear God and not man.

In his book Taste and See, John Piper suggests praying for God to unite our hearts to fear His name. He points out that we all have areas of our lives where we do fear and obey God and other areas where our hearts are bent on going our own way or caught up in the fear of man—hence the importance of asking God to “unite our hearts” to be single-minded on pleasing Him.

 

Proverbs 21.17-18:

The Love of Pleasure

 

Verse 17, “He who loves pleasure will be a poor man …” When we develop a taste for the best of everything, a desire for ease and entertainment, or for sensual pleasure, instead of satisfying us, it causes us to want more.

“The eyes of man are never satisfied” (Prov. 27.20).

A focus on pleasure, entertainment, and ease leads to laziness and a lack of willingness to fulfill responsibilities. And when that focus is sensual pleasure, it often leads to immorality. All of them will ultimately lead to poverty— material poverty, relational poverty, and, ultimately, poverty of spirit.

 

Acts 22.1-30:

Circumstances and God’s Sovereignty

 

Here in chapter 22 Paul shares a large portion of his testimony. He will give it more fully in chapter 26 when speaking before King Agrippa. He confessed his involvement in the death of Stephen, the first martyr of the church (v. 20), and spoke of his zeal to destroy “the Way”—that is the church.

The Jews listened to what he had to say until he told them that God had called him to share the gospel with the gentiles. At that they were incensed and wanted to kill him, but God used his Roman citizenship to keep him alive. This is an example of how God uses circumstances to bring about His will.

Lord, help us to be like the Apostle Paul—willing to share the truth even with those who oppose us—but help us to do so with wisdom, gentleness and patience.

Blessings,
Donna

 

Featured Resource:

 

Taste and See: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life

This revision of the follow-up to the popular A Godward Life adds twenty fresh entries to the original 120 daily meditations that are solid meat and sweet milk from God’s Word. The new entries broach current and controversial subject matter, such as partial-birth abortion and gay marriage. Piper asks the hardest questions and finds wonderfully poignant but practical and applicable truths from the Bible. These 350 pages of substantive spiritual nourishment will brace readers’ minds with truth and nourish their hearts with God’s sovereign grace. Pastors and lay leaders particularly will appreciate the three indexes included. They don’t need to look any further to find a pertinent illustration or tidbit of inspiration!

 

 

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11 thoughts on ““Fearing God in an Anti-Christian Culture” July 21

  1. Hi,I truly appreciate the opportunity to read this along with my Bible reading thank you in Jesus name Amen.

  2. Powerful scriptures share here Donna. The one in Proverbs is poignant! It is easy for us to succumb to the pleasures in life. May our love for Christ be stronger so our spirit stays strong as we seek to serve Him.The boldness of the Apostle Paul is something we can aspire to duplicate. Thank you for sharing these truths from God’s word. Blessings to you and yours!

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