A lot has been said about growing in the ‘Fear of the Lord’, but now, we have to look at what wars against us in this pursuit – The Fear of Man. Yes. We all struggle with it. Many may give the appearance that they don’t, but at the core, every man or women struggles with it. Join Charles and Daniel today as they discuss it…
As servants of Christ, we are to follow where HE leads us. For me, that is leaving my job as a freelance graphic designer and heading to the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico for 17 days to travel with a medical mission team as their cook.
Cooking in the jungle is a lot different than sitting in front of my computer working on the next amazing design piece – 3 meals a day for 15 people with 1 propane burner or sometimes an open fire! Last year, it was such a joy to serve the team and watch them care for each person that came to the clinic. More importantly, every person that came was told about the Great Physician. When I left, part of my heart stayed there so I am so excited that God has led me to go back!
Chiapas is located in southern Mexico and in many ways is similar to the rest of the country. However, Chiapas is different in that it is home to many indigenous people groups who are poor and have very little contact with good health care. Our team will work under the direction of Dr. Rivas, a Mexican doctor. While meeting the needs for health care, the clinic provides an open doorway to care for the deeper spiritual needs of those being served.
Please pray for me and my fellow team members as we prepare for the trip. Please pray that God will prepare us to minister in a way that people will see the love of Jesus through us. Pray for good health and safety for each member. Pray for team unity and a spirit of peace, joy and encouragement for each other and all those we meet. Also pray for the people that we will be ministering to that there hearts might be open to gospel.
I am looking forward to serving the Lord again in this way and am excited to see how He is going to use me. Together we can team up to serve God and influence the lives of others through Christ.
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” – Mark 2:17
Spend anytime studying the fear of the Lord and you will be like David who found himself seeking to comprehend an incomprehensible God. However… though daunting it is, we must seek to comprehend. Join Charles and Daniel as they guide us biblically through how we can comprehend ‘The Fear of the Lord’…
Less than two decades after the French Revolution, a king was back on the throne, and the miseries of a fallen world were as evident as ever for those who wished to see them. Many in France preferred to avoid those miseries and the miserable ones whose lives were so tragically affected by them.
Jean Valjean had known that misery firsthand and the deliverance that comes by the grace of God. His changed life resulted in new opportunities for himself, and he became the Mayor of his city. But he never forgot his life before grace. He was not unmoved by the squalor around him and the needs of those bound and ravaged by sin.
In one particular scene from the story, Valjean finds himself in an unusually wretched part of his city. One person, whose plunge into the miseries of debauchery were most evident, caught Valjean’s attention. He is warned not to dirty himself with the filth of the miserable ones around him, but the grace he has experienced and the resulting compassion in his heart cause him to look past the squalor to the pitiful plight of factory worker Fantine. He selflessly scoops her up and takes her to a hospital where she later dies: but not before she receives Valjean’s promise to care for her daughter.
“The Miserable ones” in Victor Hugo’s moving story and the compassion that results from the redemption of Jean Valjean are a call to readiness and action for the church of Jesus Christ today and are particularly arresting for Christians in Postmodern American culture. While the nation we love and with which we have grown so comfortable is transformed into a nation of “Les Miserables”, our tendency is to bemoan our loss and ignore our opportunity. While it is tragic to watch a culture willfully turn from God and embrace perversion as the new normal, we must be ready to address the misery that will certainly come as a result. We are only beginning to see the fruit of such decisions. As they become more evident, we can look on in disgust or, as Jean Valjean, look past our disgust to the miserable souls whose only hope of rescue is Christ. It may be that our compassionate response will be used of God to bring many miserable ones from the bondage of their sin to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
It remains to be seen what form our compassion will be called upon to take, but we must prepare our hearts to act in ways in keeping with the love of our Savior Who was more apt to rub shoulders with the down and out than with “those who need no repentance”. Or we can cry in our milk all over Facebook while longing for the “good ole days”. May God help us to be “ambassadors for Christ”.
In the love of Christ,
If the ‘Fear of the Lord’ is primary, how do we grow and develop in it? There are obstacles that stand in our way but understanding this holy obligation that we have and the outlook it require is essential. Join Charles and Daniel as the talk about it…
Living “the fear of the Lord”. How does one do that? Is that possible? Yes. It is. In “the fear of the Lord”, there is found the desire for obedience to a holy God and joy unspeakable. Join Charles and Daniel as they discuss how one is to pursue such a life…
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” There is an extreme lack of knowledge and understanding of who God is and subsequently a lack of awe and foreboding. Therefore, wisdom is built on our own understanding vs. the a healthy fear for who God said he is and will be. Join Charles and Daniel as they peal back the layers of what it means to fear God…
God has designed us to deal with change. We have a natural cooling and heating system that makes us perspire when the outside temperature is too hot and shake when the outside temperature is too cold.
Your body is changing even as you read this article. Old skin cells are dying, and your body is dealing with the change by replacing them. Every 25 days your body gives you a new epidermis or outer layer of skin. God made us physically to deal.
But God has also made believers spiritually to deal with change.
The reality of change is not just seen in our bodies. God’s people have always found it necessary to deal with change, and those changes have often not been comfortable or safe. The Old Testament Prophet Daniel was just a youth when his world was turned upside down. The ancient kingdom of Babylon had defeated and sacked Jerusalem and taken Daniel and others captive. Politically, culturally, and religiously life changed radically. Their lives would never be the same, and the challenges to their faith would be varied and humanly overwhelming. Daniel had gone from being surrounded by a culture ostensibly friendly to all he believed and held dear to being held captive by a culture alien to and at odds with these things.
Daniel and his three Hebrew friends, who would later become famous for their ordeal at the fiery furnace, had no direct influence or control over the political and international events of their day. But their God did. All that was happening was part of Jehovah God’s intricate plan.
So let’s beware of throwing up our hands or acting as though things are out of control when significant life-altering change comes. It is still true that “from Him, and to Him, and through Him are all things”.
The reality of change is as evident as the reasons are varied. But the most significant issue for the child of God is his or her response to it. Daniel could have moaned all over Facebook and wore a placard saying “The end is near!”
There was plenty of reason for pessimism. The people of God were under the foot of a grossly pagan empire. It was not possible to live life as they always had. Their God was mocked and viewed as a religious, political, and cultural nonentity. And who was Daniel or anyone else to try to prove otherwise?
The response of Daniel and his three Hebrew cohorts (popularly known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) is a vivid object lesson for those of us who claim to know, trust, and follow a sovereign God. Chapter one of Daniel’s prophecy shows us men whose lives were dedicated and submitted to the will of God above all else, including their own comfort and safety. “But Daniel purposed in his heart” that he would obey the revealed will of God. The ESV says,”But Daniel resolved…” The NASB says,”But Daniel made up his mind…” We are reminded of Martin Luther who under pressure from another “supreme court” said; “Here I stand. I can do no other.”
When this world throws the howling gales of persecution at us motivated by cynical and arrogant unbelief, we must stand on the only sure footing. And we had best not wait until the sword is drawn to make that decision. The time for re-examined and renewed commitment is now.
But one gets the sense from the Biblical account of Daniel and the other three Hebrew young men (also see Daniel chapter three) that their responses to the challenges they faced in Babylon were the effect, the expression, even the fruit of something deep, personal, and significant. These men walked with God. They worshiped the Lord and sought His face. Their lives were bound up in their saving knowledge of and genuine walk with Jehovah God. They could no more deny Him than they could deny themselves. The whole of it is summed up in the words of the three Hebrew young men as they faced certain death in a fiery furnace. “If this be so, our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto you, O King, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17,18)
None of us can know with certainty what the days ahead hold, but if recent events are any indication, it is gut check time for the church of Jesus Christ. The false assurance of a safe world has been eradicated and replaced with the reality that it has no love or loyalty for us. Our friendship and our citizenship are in heaven. These are perilous times, but even more, they are times full of opportunity to shine as lights “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation…” May God help us to do so for the glory of His great name.
In the love of Christ,