REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor David Kwon who heads Journey Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, was first posted on November 23, 2013. He is a graduate of Drexel University (BS) and Columbia International University (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“The Fear of God”
Psalm 112:1-19 (NIV)
Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands. 2 Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever. 4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. 5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. 6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. 7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. 9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honor. 10 The wicked will see and be vexed, they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.
“When Hugh Latimer was preaching one day in the presence of King Henry VIII, he reports that he said to himself, ‘Latimer! Latimer! Remember that the king is here; be careful what you say.’ Then he said to himself, ‘Latimer! Latimer! Remember that the King of kings is here; be careful what you do not say.’ For such unflinching faithfulness Latimer was eventually burned at the stake. But he feared failing God more than he feared offending men.” (Matthew Kratz)
The most repeated command in Scripture is the command not to fear. And yet we are also frequently told in Scripture to fear the Lord. The harmony between the two and the wisdom of Scripture is this: When we learn to fear that which is most powerful, we finally find ourselves free from fear of less powerful things. Fear of man, fear of failure, fear of [you fill in the blank] come quickly to an end when we truly learn to fear God – acknowledging His power and sovereignty and submitting our lives to His rule.
Spend some time meditating on Psalm 112:1. Ask God to make this truth manifest in your life today.
Prayer: Dear God, may the truth of Psalm become the reality in my life. May I fear You above all else. May I love You above all else. May I worship You above all else. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 41
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 10:26-33: “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
Questions to Consider
- What do we learn from verse 28 about what to fear and what not to fear? Are there areas in your life where you have misplaced fears?
- In calling us to fear God alone, what comfort and encouragement does Jesus give us?
- In verses 32-33, how are we called to fear God in our lives?
Are there practical ways you can acknowledge God in your life today? Spend some time declaring God’s power, majesty, and supremacy in your life and in the world. Ask God to show you ways He’s calling you to acknowledge Him.
- God is the most powerful – He is the only one who can destroy not only the body, but also the soul. No one else has that kind of power. Therefore, we are to fear God above any other person and any other thing in this world, because He is the most powerful being in all existence.
- Not only is our God all-powerful, but also He is full of compassion for His children. He is mindful of us and cares for us so much so that He even knows the number of hairs on our head. The most powerful being in the world also wills good for each of us. Therefore, in submitting ourselves to God, we do so not in terror, but in a joyful reverence and awe.
- Jesus calls us to acknowledge Him publically. This could be through our words, through our actions/choices, etc. Whatever the situation, we have to show that we submit first and foremost to God, even if the outcome will be persecution from man.
The 1905 hymn, “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” reads,
“I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
‘Let not your heart be troubled,’ His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears.”
Is God the only one you fear? Or do you fear much less powerful things? Are you living in the comfort and peace of knowing that God has promised to care for you? Ask God to help you find rest in Him.