UPDATED Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), is an updated version of his blog first posted on February 20, 2013.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“The Fear of God”
Psalms 18:7-8, 15
Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry. 8 Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him . . . 15 Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
This isn’t the kind of Psalm we want to wake up to, but it reminds us that God is to be feared as much as He is to be loved. After all, it wasn’t without reason that the Hebrews writer penned, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). But, when was the last time you heard a sermon based on that text?
At times, even unbelievers become acutely aware of God’s indignation against men’s grievous acts of injustice and immorality. In 1994, a strong earthquake shook the “foundations” of Northridge, California, damaging the area where nearly 70 companies were cranking out more than 95 percent of all the pornographic videos produced every year in the U.S at that time. One actor in the industry said: “Our clients have a definite lack of motivation. It puts the fear of God in them.”
Remember, God loves us and is very patient with our shortcomings, but He is also holy and just. If we persist in our sins, God will discipline us for our own good.
Nevertheless, God’s holiness is not easily grasped by us due to our own unholiness, which, then, is compounded by a lack of teaching on the subject of fearing God in our churches. Therefore, remember this quote from Tim Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Church in Manhattan: “Here we are in the middle of New York City, talking about judgment and wrath and mountains falling on people, and some of you got to . . . I hope a lot of you say, ‘Aren’t we beyond this kind of thing? Who wants to believe in something like that? Don’t we believe in a God of love today? Hear what I will suggest. You have to realize this: If you believe anything Jesus tells you, you have to believe in the judgment day. And if you don’t believe in judgment, you might as well throw everything out.”
Mediate on this: The LORD our God is holy. And then let us repent.
Prayer: Oh, holy and loving God, I come to You this morning with none of my own righteousness because it’s like a filthy rag. I desperately need You to cleanse me from my selfish, narcissistic, and materialistic ways so that I can become free from constant worries and envy. Above all, I need Your cleansing because I don’t want to keep offending Your holiness, so help me LORD. Amen
Bible Reading for Today: Romans 5
Lunch Break Study
Read Mt. 18:5-6: “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Col. 3:5-6: “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.”
2 Pet. 3:9: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
Heb. 12:10-11: “For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Questions to Consider
- Though not a pleasant subject, consider some things that we do that can lead to God’s indignation?
- Should we worry? The answer is NO (Rom. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9) and YES (Heb. 10:26-31). Look them up and see for yourself.
- In the end, why would God discipline or punish us when we resolutely choose the wayward path (Heb. 12:10-11)?
- God is indignant when what we do leads children to go astray. He is also provoked at all kinds of immoral and unethical behaviors (which stem from a heart bent against God and His righteousness).
- “NO” because God will give us repeated opportunities to repent since He doesn’t want anyone to perish; “YES,” because “the LORD will judge His people” when they deliberately keep on sinning.”
- Just like when our earthly fathers disciplined us when we, as children, did things that were against his will (like touching the hot stove when they told us not to) God the Father will also discipline us for our own spiritual good when we ignore His counsel, which we think limits and restrains us, but in truth, they protect and keep us from harm and living a miserable life.
Feeling tired from a hard day’s work? Good! But before turning in, evaluate your day: In what sense did you fear God today?