Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor Mark Chun (Radiance Christian Church, S. F.), was originally posted on March 22, 2013.
Devotional Thought for Today
“Fear in the Modern Age”
Psalms 27:1-3 (ESV)
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. 3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
In earlier devotionals, we read about the fear of the Lord being the beginning of wisdom. Here in this psalm, we see the ultimate benefit of living in that fear; for when you fear the Lord, you have no need to fear anything else. Fear then is actually a form of worship because what you fear literally controls you and demands obedience from you.
In the modern age, fear looks vastly different from our enemies assaulting us, or an army threatening to destroy our kingdom. Today, we have fearful parenting where children are overly protected and never allowed to experience the normal trials of life. (Sadly, many will repeat this cycle of fear.) We have people ruining their families and their own lives because they are afraid to fail. Many of us live under the constant burden of insecurities, afraid of what others are thinking about us. Fear is no respecter of persons and we all easily fall victim to its trap.
David’s solution to his own fear is to know that God alone is his stronghold, a fortress that he can turn to when the fears of life surround him. It is only from the safety of God’s protective love that we can begin to vanquish fear and live in confidence, hope, and joy.
What are some fears that you personally struggle with? Lift them up to the Lord and allow his perfect love to cast our every fear and anxiety.
Prayer: Father, it is within Your arms, where I feel safest. I confess that there are many things that cause me to fear, worry, and be anxious. Allow me to completely trust in the strength of Your love and find all my courage and confidence as I depend upon You daily.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 5
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 John 4:18 (ESV): “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
Questions to Consider
- Is this a contradiction, that is, a change made to the Old Testament command to fear the Lord?
- What is perfect love referring to? (1 John 4:17a)
- What allows us to stand confidently before God without the dread of fear? (1 John 4:17b)
- This verse is referring to a specific type of fear, that is, unwarranted fear of condemnation on the Day of Judgment (1 John 4:17) for the believers. This in no way contradicts or subverts the Old Testament teaching that fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
- Perfect love is a reference to a believer’s growing confidence that he/she will be able to stand before God without fear of His judgment.
- According to John’s epistle, we don’t have to be fearful of standing before the throne of God because we are the same as Jesus in this world. His righteousness is given to us so that we can be confident that the Father will welcome us home just as He welcomed his true Son home.
One of the earliest heresies that threatened the church was the error propagated by Marcion of Sinope. He taught that the God of the Old Testament was a lower entity than the all-loving God of the New Testament. The unity of God between the testaments is essential in our understanding of His nature. He is just and forgiving, jealous and kind, and worthy of both fear and love.
As your wrap up your week, how did God help you make it through? Was it a good week, a tough week, a week to forget? Try to thank God no matter the circumstance.