Luke 12:4-12 – “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 the killing of the body, has power 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. “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

 

Christ’s disciples are His “friends” and He gives them this friendly advice, “do not be afraid of those who have only enough power to kill the body.”  Their power is a limited power!  Don’t be in dread of their wrath for, after they have done their worst, your immortal soul will live on and find its eternal joy in God!  His friendly advisement continues as He clarifies whom they SHOULD fear.  God should be feared more than the most powerful people in your life!  If you want to fear man less, then fear God more!  By identifying with Christ you may incur the scorn and wrath of people, who can do no worse than to destroy your life.  However, denying and disowning Christ will bring the wrath and condemnation of God, who has the power to send you to hell, and you’ll have no power to stop Him!  We often face the potential scorn of influential people and the pressures they may bring to bear upon us to conform to popular opinions that conflict with God’s Word, His laws and standards.  In fear of rejection, loss of income, or maybe even loss of life, many have rejected the precepts and standards of God’s kingdom in order to “fit in” with the culture.  Our Lord’s friendly advice is that we should rather fear the One who has power to throw us into HELL!  This makes sense when we think about it, but tougher to put into practice when a situation arises that challenges it.  That’s why I’m reminding us to think about it!  “Yes, I tell you, fear Him!”

However, don’t be afraid!  God looks after His children!  You are sacred and precious to Him!  You are worth far more than the sparrows that God looks after!  You are so important that He has an accounting of each of the hairs on your head!  (Now, I’m a little easier for Him to account for in this than many of you!)  A quote that I grew up with was, “If you look after the things that are important to God, He’ll look after the things that are important to you!”  This axiom finds some support here in Jesus’s counsel. He says, “If you acknowledge me before men, I will acknowledge you before God!”  If we value our relationship with Christ more than we value other relationships or things, He will not forsake us when we stand before the Great Judge!  On the other hand, if we disown Christ and sell out our souls to the world, the flesh and the devil, He will also disown us and will not advocate on our behalf!  Hmmmm, Is it possible that a loving God would disown His people?  Only when such people disown Him!  There is a hell to shun and the solution is simple – believe God and make sure that people know that you do, by choosing to honor and obey Him, even when others don’t!

Like Peter, who denied that He knew Jesus, we too can be forgiven for those moments when we’ve failed to acknowledge Him! His mercy will often provide us with opportunity to acknowledge the error of our way, to repent and make known to a watching world that we really do love and trust Him!  However, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is another matter!  To disown the person and work of God’s Holy Spirit is UNFORGIVEABLE!  We may only be drawn to God by His Spirit and we are warned that, to scorn, curse, reject and blaspheme the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven!  He is the agent of our salvation, the power and inspiration of God to counsel and direct our lives!  When people challenge our faith and values, He is the One who will instruct us in how to respond.  We don’t have to worry about defending ourselves, He is our advocate, our lawyer, and He will guide our words!  So, don’t blaspheme the precious Spirit of God, embrace Him!  Learn to recognize His voice!  He is the One who will teach us that we have nothing to fear from men if we fear GOD!  If we fear God, we have nothing to fear FROM Him!

 

Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.

Friday: Pray for the families of the week: David & Sarah George (Nathanael, Rachael), Jon & Suzan George (Hannah, Abby, Jacob, Samuel, ?), John & Carol George.

Saturday: Pay attention to Christ’s friendly advice about who has the most influence in your life actions!

Sunday: Don’t be afraid of what men can do to you!  Fear God… and go to worship service today!

Monday: Be mindful of how precious you are to God – He has the hairs of your head accounted for!

Tuesday: Pray that you may demonstrate to others how precious Christ is to you!

Wednesday: Recognize, honor and embrace the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in your life!

 

Prayer Challenge – When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?  Psalm 56:3,4 

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