July 21 “Two kinds of fear” & LINKUP

fear, courage

There are two kinds of fear? Fear can be filled with faith or sinful depending on its focus.

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

Ezra 3 & 4:

Fear of man and a higher authority

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.

There will be times on the job (even when we are within our rights) or in our families where we will feel fear—fear of being ridiculed, fear of being rejected, fear of what people will think, even in some cases, fear of losing our jobs. But, we too, can do what’s right in spite of our feelings. Courage isn’t the absence of fear; it is doing what’s right in spite of it!

Psalm 86.11-17:

Single minded fear

Verse 11b says, “… unite my heart to fear Your name.” Instead of fearing man, what people may think of us, we’re to fear God. The fear of God is not a cowering fear, but reverential respect.

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. 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

Now it is time to LINKUP …

Mondays @ Soul Survival

Mondays @ Soul Survival


524997: Taste and See Taste and See
By John Piper /Multnomah BooksThis update to the second volume of Piper’s popular devotional, A Godward Life, features 20 new articles, which address controversies such as partial-birth abortion and gay marriage. With three indexes and 120 brief biblically based essays, it also provides pastors and lay leaders with illustrations as sound as Scripture and as current as tomorrow’s Internet news. 432 pages, softcover from Multnomah.
11940EB: Taste and See: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life - eBook Taste and See: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life – eBook
By John Piper /Multnomah BooksThis update to the second volume of Piper’s popular devotional, A Godward Life, features 20 new articles, which address controversies such as partial-birth abortion and gay marriage. With three indexes and 120 brief biblically based essays, it also provides pastors and lay leaders with illustrations as sound as Scripture and as current as tomorrow’s Internet news. 432 pages, softcover from Multnomah.

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Mondays Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings A Proverbs 31 Wife
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Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew

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8 thoughts on “July 21 “Two kinds of fear” & LINKUP

  1. This is something that I have come to realize, to be willing to share the truth regardless of how other may perceive it. At first i was fearful, but now as long as I know I am sharing what God wants me to I do not care what others think.

    • That was Paul’s aim.

      “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him” (2 Cor. 5.9).

      Let’s pray that we live that calling, too. Blessings!

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  4. I loved how God used Paul’s Roman citizenship to keep him alive. God is so good and blesses us so wonderfully.

    Fear has been a big topic we’ve been talking about at church and what I have been talking independently about with a good friend.

    God proves again and again we have nothing to fear when we place our trust in Him.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely week.
    xoxo

    • Jennifer, it is amazing how our sovereign God uses the circumstances in our lives for our good, even the ones we aren’t proud of. Your comment made me think how blessed we are to be citizens of the US of A, even with all our problems. We could have been born anywhere in the world! Let’s pray that we don’t squander the blessing and the responsibility! Blessings!

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