Posts Tagged ‘fear god’

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.

How easy it is to envy those who get ahead unhampered by Christian responsibility or God’s laws. For a time they do seem to get ahead without paying any attention to what God wants. But to those who follow him, God promises a hope and a wonderful future even if we don’t achieve it in this life.

The world exalts and promotes sinners. Movie stars, athletes, performing artists, business tycoons, royalty, politicians, and other rich and famous sinners are pushed at you every day. Solomon, with wise parental love, warned his son against envying worldly sinners (Pr 24:1,19). He knew the fear of God instead should be his only ambition (Ec 12:13-14).

Every generation, of every nation, has had heroes and stars; but only recently can the images and words of these popular sinners be thrown at you all the time. If this warning was important in Solomon’s day, it is much more important today. These sinners are all going down, and every Christian must believe it and live like it (Pr 23:18; Ps 37:1-3).

There are 10,000 sinners to envy in this generation and world. Every age, both male and female, and all temperaments, find certain sinners to be temptations. They imagine how wonderful life could be, if they had the abilities, looks, success, spouse, or circumstances of their idol. He might be a product of Hollywood; she might be a classmate or neighbor.

The fear of the Lord is far better. Every sinner, no matter how rich or famous, will die and go to hell (Ps 49:6-20). So fearing the Lord is man’s whole duty (Ec 12:13-14). With God’s blessing and favor, even obscurity and poverty are better than the dysfunctional, hopeless lives and eternal suffering of the wicked (Pr 15:16; Ps 37:16). Believe it, reader!

Moses did not envy Pharaoh or his rising peers; he chose the reproach of Jesus Christ to be of much greater value, for he saw his and their eternal future (Heb 11:24-26). Asaph described in wonderful terms the wisdom of looking past the glitter to the grave (Ps 73:1-28). While Demas loved this present world, Paul loved a future world (II Tim 4:7-8,10).

A morgue teaches the future of glamour girls. Yesterday’s goddesses are feeding today’s worms. Better yet, visit a cancer ward. Before they rot in the grave, they take on a ghastly and ghostly look. And then comes hell. Young girls envying models is one thing; adult women envying models is twice as vain. But the virtuous woman, shunning this world’s enticements to seek Christ, will live in pleasant splendor forever (Pr 23:18; I Tim 2:15).

Why read magazines glamorizing sinners? Why watch them on television? The world only shows enticing features of them: you do not see them drunk, divorced, depressed, dying, or dead. Why daydream about them? Your deceitful heart dwells on their seducing traits: it lies to you about their present troubles and future judgment, and you believe it. It would be far better to envy the righteous and covet their character and reputations.

Your constant thought must be to fear God, which is to hate evil and keep His commands (Pr 8:13; 14:2; Ps 112:1; 128:1). Fearing the Lord is not a mindset for devotions, for times of trouble, for prayer, for Sunday worship, or the Lord’s Supper – it is the lifestyle, perspective, and worldview that real Christians follow every minute all day long. You cannot allow envy for sinners even a second to get a toehold in your heart or soul!

Under Gods Command

2 Corinthians 5:11-12 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.

To “fear the Lord” does not mean that believers become paralyzed. On the contrary, knowing God’s perfection and that he will judge everyone’s actions (5:10) should spur Christians to good deeds, to what pleases our God. The fear of the Lord also frees believers from all of life’s anxieties and worries. Knowing that God is “for us” (Romans 8:31) can keep believers unafraid of earthly powers—people, governments, or the forces of nature (Proverbs 3:25-26). God takes care of his own. The fear of God gives us uncommon courage in the face of life’s troubles.

Those who “take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart” are the false preachers (see 2:17) who were concerned only about getting ahead in this world. They were preaching the gospel for money and popularity, while Paul and his companions were preaching out of concern for eternity.

Lets Bring it Home: You can identify false preachers by finding out what really motivates them. If they are more concerned about themselves than about Christ, avoid them and their message.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 29:6 An evil man is snared by his own sin, but a righteous one can sing and be glad. 

Some fall into this trouble and then that trouble. Others go through life happily singing! What makes the difference? The answer is worth your attention! You can have a life of pain and problems, or you can have a life filled with joy and pleasure. Which will it be?

An evil man chooses to transgress against a commandment of God. He wants to do things his own way. He has no real regard or respect for the word of God. He is in love with his own thoughts. He believes he can get away with his sin. He is convinced that he can find happiness by sinning. He confidently rejects wisdom to choose the path of fools.

But he is deceived! Every sin has a snare! There is an unseen trap to punish him for his rebellion against God. Though he did not see the snare when he chose to sin, the rusty claws of the trap will suddenly spring shut on his life. Then he will feel the painful results of a foolish choice (Ps 36:2; Pr 4:19; 13:15; 28:14). He despises the only way out of the trap – full repentance – which for him is like using a pocket knife to whittle off his leg!

Consider examples. A man marries a beautiful woman who does not fear God. Is there a snare? He must live with an odious woman until death! A woman defrauds her husband of daily sex. Is there a snare? She must live with a bitter husband the rest of her life! A man discreetly visits a whore. Is there a snare? He catches an STD! A lazy father neglects child training. Is there a snare? A rebellious child breaks his heart and shames the family!

Consider more examples. A man ridicules the government in his home (Ec 10:20). Is there a snare? His children show the same arrogant rebellion against him. A haughty son chooses to disregard his father’s advice. Is there a snare? He marries a whorish woman and picks a career in a dying industry. A man refuses to save because he loves spending. Is there a snare? He can never invest with his friends and is soon bankrupt. A woman complains about her life. Is there a snare? Her children run away to find joy and peace.

But the righteous man lives a holy life. He carefully lives in obedience to all God’s commandments. He trembles before the word of God. He quickly confesses any sins, and his merciful heavenly Father restores his spirit. His conscience is pure and confident. He has no fear, guilt, or shame. He sleeps well at night, and is gloriously content. His soul is full of pleasure now and with great hope for the future. He sings with great joy! He enjoys every aspect of his life, seeing things to be thankful for everywhere he looks.

Pleasure is the fruit of godliness, and godliness with contentment is great gain (I Tim 6:6). If God says it is gain, it is gain! The holy life is safe from harm, free from guilt, free from trouble. There are no snares in doing right, no vexing remorse or painful results. There is no smitten conscience or hypocritical quandary. The righteous man has a feast every day (Pr 3:17; 15:15)! And he knows even greater blessings are coming at death!

God knows you want to be happy, so He told you how in this proverb and elsewhere in the Bible (Ps 34:12-16; Ps 127:5; 128:2; 144:15; Pr 3:13,18; 14:21; 16:20; 29:18). He knows more about happiness and true contentment and fulfillment than all men living. Do you consult His owner’s manual for life – the Bible? Do you attend a church where a man He has appointed preaches the truth and wisdom from that Bible for your happiness?

Reader, do you understand? Have you seen troubled and painful lives? Have you been troubled yourself? It is your fault! You chose to break God’s wise rules, and the snare of sin caught you. There is a snare in every sin. Stop sinning, and you can recover your tranquility (Pr 11:6; 12:13). Where are you cheating God? The trap is ready to spring. Let the righteous man joyfully sing, for his life is blessed and his future will be even better!