Archive for the ‘1 Chroniclles’ Category

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“SLAYING FEAR” – April 25

April 25, 2013

“For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. “ 2 Chronicles 20:12b      “…Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:12b

Franklin D. Roosevelt after giving one of his ...“Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

This is a quote that anyone who has studied 20th Century American History will recognize. It is a quote that gets dusted off when something disturbing happens.  It gets placed in the mortar and pestle of political speech writers to create various elicitors intended to inoculate the masses against discouragement.

However, the quote is somewhat ridiculous when taken out of the context of the speech.  The only thing that we have to fear is fear itself – really?  There are a lot of things in this world that worth fearing more than being afraid.

I would rather be afraid than:

…to have actual bombs be set off at marathons.

… gunmen shooting through schools.

…dictators launching nuclear missiles.

…planes flown into buildings.

…asteroids striking the earth.

…fertilizer plants exploding.

…storms washing away homes and businesses.

…cancer.

…bankruptcy.

…persecution.

…assault and rape.

…random accidents.

…chaos.

I would rather be afraid than have any of those bad events actually happen.  It seems to me that a more rational question is why aren’t more people afraid.

Fear Filled Bathtub

Fear Filled Bathtub (Photo credit: Kewima)

Fear is not a bad thing.  Fear serves a very important purpose.  The problem with many of the manifestations of this FDR quote is that they attempt to deny fear.  Fear was not intended to be denied.

We all live in a world that is beyond our control.  It is beyond the control of any individual person or government.

There are people in this world that will do bad things no matter what restrictions, incentives/dis-incentives, or educational efforts are made. 

There are acts of nature that no man-made edifices can withstand.  

There are forces in this world that are beyond our control. 

Fear shows us our powerless state.  It reveals our helpless condition.  Fear devours the adequacy of our answers.  There will inevitably come a time for every person when they simply do not know what to do.  We all are guaranteed to discover the inadequacy of our human answers in the face of the overwhelming power of death.  All of mankind is powerless to death.  Death should be feared by fallen man. It is foolishness to deny our powerlessness condition with trite quotes.

All fear, particularly fear of death, has a very important purpose.  Fear is a God created response in man that was designed to turn us toward God.

It is at the foot of fear where we are forced to admit that we do not know what to do.  Fear humbles us.  It is often only when our answers run-out that we look for answers beyond ourselves.  Fear has served its purpose when we are humbled under the mighty hand of God; when our answers have run-out and we turn our eyes onto God.  That is when he will exalt us.  God is our only true and complete answer to fear.

It is only in God that fear can actually be vanquished.  All other answers will only suppress and deny the fear of the powerless.  It is only when we place all of our hope in God our Father that we can know the joy that this world can do nothing to us of eternal consequence.

It is only in Christ when our battles become the Lord’s.

Fear can be a debilitating beast.  Fear can paralyze us.  If you are in Christ, you have been set free.  You have been set free from those real fears that bind and debilitate.  Set the fears that hinder you before our Lord, acknowledge that you don’t know what to do, and set your eyes upon Him and Him alone.  Cast all of your cares upon Him because he cares for you.(1 Peter 5:7)

We are powerless but we have a powerful God, who is for us.  Our battles are His battles and there is nothing that is too hard for Him.

May we pray the same prayer from FDR’s inaugural address that included the quote on fear, “…we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.” FDR’s First Inaugural Address .

PRAYER: Thank you for defeating sin.  Thank you for breaking death.  You reign in majesty and power.  Your kingdom cannot be defeated. All things are possible in You.  I have nothing to fear because of You.  I am secure in You.  I am victorious in You despite any pain, failure, heartache, or opposition.  I shall not fear.  I shall not fear!  I shall not fear for my hope is in You, the King of kings and Lord of lords. You are my God and I will rest in You, to your praise and glory.  I praise You and pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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“WORSHIP FOR SALE” – Mar. 17

March 17, 2013

“But they broke faith with the God of their fathers, and whored after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them.” 1 Chronicles 5:25

How do you whore after other gods?

I understand how people whore after other people.  Whoring is probably one of the more derogatory terms for the transaction where money or some other benefit is exchanged for the most intimate of physical interaction between two people.

Whoring is selling what was supposed to be a gift, freely given in a relationship of mutual love.

Whoring is being a merchant of the act that was created to bind two individuals into one.

Whoring is under-valuing the priceless by setting a market value.

The half-tribe of Manasseh broke faith with God and whored after other gods.  Consider what they did.  They worshiped other gods.  They broke faith with God and worshiped the gods of the people who were supposed to be driven out.

WorshipThey sold their worship.

Our worship is to be freely given in a response of love and gratitude that wells up from our covenant relationship with our God.  Worship binds us and brings us close

to our God. Worship was never intended to buy anything.  It is a response of love.

The half-tribe of Manasseh sold their worship to other gods for better provisions, better protection, or at least to appease other deities.  They may have sold their worship to hedge their bets, just in case there was another god out there that might be greater than the God of Jacob.  God viewed their actions as a betrayal of the intimate covenant relationship he had with the people of Israel. They cheated on God by selling their love.

I am preparing to go and worship the Lord this Sunday.  I wonder how the Lord looks at a lot of the worship that he sees.Worship Rehearsal

Do I worship so that I will feel a spiritual rush? 

Do I worship so that I will win favor from God?

Do I worship without thinking about God?

Do I worship God on Sunday and seek my provisions elsewhere throughout the week?

Do I hedge my bets by worshipping various religious beliefs?

Do I worship as a source of entertainment?

God values our worship like spouses value the marriage bed.  May we never devalue worship.  It is the believer’s gift to the Lord Most High, freely given in a relationship of mutual love.

I don’t want to be a worship whore.

Let us realize what we are doing when we worship and do it with all of our hearts in spirit and truth to the glory of the one and only God Almighty.  That is the type of worshipers who He is seeking.

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”  (John 4:23-24)

PRAYER: Lord, may my worship be pure.  Father, examine my heart.  Show me any areas where I have sold my worship.  Lord, you are my all in all.  I give You all of my praise because You a worthy of it all.  I don’t want anything in return for my praise.  I love you Lord.  You are my God and I freely and whole-hearted give myself You.  All praise be to your name.  Amen

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