There is a misconception about the fear of God, but that’s where true wisdom begins.
Fear is not always bad. It keeps us alive, it keeps us from hurting ourselves, it keeps us from hurting others, fear makes us take our children or ourselves to the doctor. Fear keeps former alcoholics away from social gatherings where alcohol may be served, so fear has kept people alive and out of trouble, but it can also become debilitating if it’s an irrational fear, however, the fear of God is not this kind of fear. It’s not the fear of being struck dead or cast into hell because God gives us a choice. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36).
If you reject Christ as your one and only hope, then you have every reason to fear. Jesus said we should “not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). For believers, “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”. (1 John 4:18). Believers fear God, but it’s not the fear of judgment. Their sins were placed upon Christ. This fear is a deep, holy, reverential fear and respect for God and His Word. Fearing God means we obey God and His Word. That is the fear of the Lord, and that is where wisdom begins
Seeking Wisdom: To have wisdom is to have the ability to think and act using past knowledge and life’s experiences, and then understanding how these two relate. Wisdom is having a common sense and insight that only time, experience, and education can bring. Based on this, we can act with confidence in making choices or decisions, and knowing when it is best to avoid certain situations. Most people gain wisdom the hard way…by making mistakes, but these are often the best teachers. If you’re faced with an important decision, then pray to God and ask Him for godly wisdom. James tells us that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). Scripture is full of wisdom. Moses wrote that we are to “Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples.” (Deuteronomy 4:6a).
The Israeli company, Watergen, is turning air into water with the help of innovative technology. As the lack of water is a source of starvation and conflict around the world, and unclean water becomes a tremendous health hazard, Watergen envisions that bringing clean drinking water from the air will have a major global impact on the future. The amount of water in the air is considerable and it is inexhaustible so what an amazing solution to the world’s biggest problem.
When Dr. Michael Mirilashvili, president of Watergen was asked what help does he need his response was “I need the help of God, we already have the technology. This entrepreneur, Michael Mirilashvili truly knows where his help comes from just as Bezalel and Oholiab knew when they were constructing the Tabernacle of the Lord.
“See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft.And He has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer.” Exodus 35:30-35
The world has been deceived and will suffer the consequences. It no longer fears God and yet God’s Word tells us: “The beginning of wisdom is to fear God.”
“If you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of His saints.” Proverbs 2:1-8
“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgements, and His statutes which I command you today, lest-when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; … —then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ Deuteronomy 8:11-13, 17
“And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.” Deuteronomy 8: 18-19
Read what God told Israel: “Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Deuteronomy 9:5
Who controls kings: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts.” Proverbs 21:1-2
All will eventually acknowledge the Lord: “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD’s, and He rules over the nations.” Psalm 22: 27-28
Not only do we know the indignation (righteous anger) of the Lord is against all nations at the end. but we also know their fate – destruction.
“Come near, you nations, to hear;
And heed, you people!
Let the earth hear, and all that is in it,
The world and all things that come forth from it. For the indignation of the Lord is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them,
He has given them over to the slaughter.
Also their slain shall be thrown out;
Their stench shall rise from their corpses,
And the mountains shall be melted with their blood.” ISAIAH 34:1-3
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” PROVERBS 1:7
“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death.” PROVERBS 34:27
“When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke.” PROVERBS 1:27-30
“If you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;” PROVERBS 2:1-6
Help us Lord, to warn the world of the coming judgement, that they might know that a good God must judge unrighteousness, otherwise He is not a good God.
Tony Hale recently gave an interview about his approach to comedy, art and faith. During that interview, he shared about how he initially came to Hollywood as a young Christian with grand ideas—”What’s God going to do through me?”—only to realise that the person who truly needed to change and grow was himself. Listen to his testimony in this video. In this 11 minute interview, Tony reveals some deep and important truths. Truths I needed to be reminded of, and perhaps you do too. Let me know if it was worth your time.
Quit saying, ‘I am getting older.’ the Holy Spirit in you is ageless. Allow Him to quicken your mortal body and soar with the eagles. Many of you know I am in my eighties. God initiated my latest ministry project http://www.powerpointsermons.net when I turned eighty. Both of my books: Build a Kingdom Business and Living Eternal Now have a sub heading “Empowered by the Holy Spirit” and were written in my seventies.
“Wisdom is with the elderly, and understanding comes with long life.” You have more wisdom now than ever. With years comes understanding.” Job 12:12. Caleb when he reached 85 years, said to the Lord, “I am as strong now as when I was forty, and I want to take another mountain!” Many of God’s heroes started their ministry when they reached 80.
Moses, Joshua, Caleb. Why is that? Maybe, it is then that we know we can’t do it in our own strength and God is certain to get the glory.
Psalm 68:28 says, “Your God has commanded your strength.” God is commanding His strength into you! ”
Our older years are when we are in our prime to be used and bring forth fruit.
Psalm 91:16 says, “With long life I will satisfy [you] and show [you[ My salvation.”
What prompted this post is a prophecy I came across by Bill Yount. Bill has authored several prophetic books. His latest book is: The Power of Real / Transparent Prophetic Encouragement.
A Word to the Kingdom’s Older Stars
I sense the Lord saying, “The older stars in My kingdom are going to shine brighter and do greater exploits than ever before!” I sense there is a special anointing coming upon older men and women in the Body of Christ. God is not through using you. Your age is not against you, it is for you. Job 12:12 says, “Wisdom is with the elderly, and understanding comes with long life.” You have more wisdom now than ever. With years comes understanding.
This anointing is going to cause you to live longer. Many of you have not planned to live long enough. It will be an anointing similar to Caleb when he reached 85 years. He said to the Lord, “I am as strong now as when I was forty, and I want to take another mountain!” There is coming a “spiritual fountain of youth” into your midst, a renewing, a release of God’s strength. Psalm 68:28 says, “Your God has commanded your strength.” God is commanding His strength into you! One translation says, “Your God has decided you will be strong!”
Many of You Are Going to Have to Live Longer
Many of you are going to have to live longer because God is not through using you. Many of you are going to go into a second “childhood” in the Spirit. You will be reactivated by God to live out your dreams that you are just dreaming about right now. People and relatives will laugh and say, “You are going to do what? You are going to go where? At your age?” But that anointing is going to rise up within you to take mountains, to do exploits, to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint (see Isa. 40:31).
There is an anointing coming upon God’s people to live longer. The joy of the Lord which is our strength is lengthening our days upon the earth.
Christians in Western culture today have to deal with subjects that even 20 years ago would have been almost unthinkable to most. And the issues of gender and sexuality are among the toughest that confront Christians today—recently, the Nashville statement was released as one attempt to define the Christian view of sex and gender.
The important question is: how do we maintain a biblical worldview when simply believing that there are two biological sexes, readily identifiable in humans and determined by genetics, is now considered by many to be hate speech?
Andrew T. Walker’s book God and the Transgender Debate seeks to help Christians walk through some of the complicated issues surrounding the discussion of transgender individuals.
One of the most helpful aspects of Walker’s book is that before he addresses the facts, he addresses the attitude with which we as Christians should come to the debate. He points to the compassion that Jesus showed to hurting people, even when he was correcting their unbiblical practices and ideas:
Jesus loved people. That’s important for me to remember as I write a book with the word “debate” in its title. And it’s good for you to remember as you read a book with the word “transgender” in its title. Because at its heart, this debate isn’t about a debate. It’s about people: precious people made in the image of God who are hurting, who are confused, who are angry, who are scared, who may have been told by their family that they are unwelcome. It’s about some people who are delighted with how culture has shifted when it comes to gender identity, and other people who are concerned about how culture has shifted (p. 14).
However, the grace Walker calls for in responding to transgender individuals does not exclude the truth taught in Scripture regarding what it means to be a man or a woman.
How we got here
To properly respond to the transgender issue, we have to understand how culture got to the place where we can be confused about such foundational truths regarding human identity. He points to various elements including the loss of Christianity’s influence in key areas of the culture and the rise of radical individualism.
The Christian’s foundation
In a context where fundamental definitions of human identity seem up for grabs, it’s necessary to return to the foundations of where the Christian worldview comes from. Walker identifies God, the Creator, as the authority. Furthermore, the Gospel shows that God is good and wants what is best for us. “A crucified Creator is a God who has the authority to tell us what to do, who has the wisdom to know what is best for us, and who has proved that he can be trusted to tell us what is best for us” (p. 44).
Furthermore, God has designed mankind as male and female. “Maleness isn’t only anatomy, but anatomy shows that there is maleness. And femaleness isn’t only anatomy, but anatomy shows that there is femaleness. Men and women are more than just their anatomy, but they are not less” (p. 54). And because this is such a foundational designed aspect of humanity, rebelling against this part of our identity “can never result in happiness, flourishing, and joy, whatever it promises” (p. 55).
However, this does not mean that the church should fall into the trap of enforcing stereotypical expressions of maleness and femaleness. Walker cites examples such as a boy preferring to play with dolls or a girl who prefers to watch football as examples where someone may mistakenly try to enforce stereotypes of what is considered acceptable for boys or girls, even though there is nothing inherently sinful about a boy playing with a doll or a girl watching football (p. 55).
Part of the reality of living in a sinful world is that we are all marred by sin, but the Gospel offers hope for restoration, and Walker beautifully expresses this truth.
Engaging the culture like Christ did
Walker helpfully gives specific advice about how to engage the issue without neglecting either truth or love, including how the church might respond to the conversion of transgender people and advice for talking with children about transgenderism, including children who feel like they might be transgender. One chapter is devoted to answer 12 ‘tough questions’ people have about practical issues related to the transgender debate.
As Christians, we are called to be prepared to engage the culture with biblical truth and the love of Christ. If we hope to share the Gospel with people who are confused regarding gender, we need to be educated about the biblical issues involved. And Walker’s book gives a good introduction to how Christians can think about this issue and engage the culture.
To build Christians that will stand strong and stay the course, leaders will need to not only to teach sound doctrine, but even more importantly, be a godly example and live a sanctified life of fidelity to the truth, thus helping to mature the saints. Ministers and especially pastors/shepherds will, like leaders in the Book of Acts, need to share their lives with their flock, and therefore, teach more by their life example perhaps than anything else.
In Jesus’ parable (Matt. 7:24-27) He uses a storm, signifying the pressures, hardships and trials of life, as well as the persecutions we will suffer for the gospel, as a measuring gauge for how solid our foundation is. And what is our foundation based upon? Jesus taught us that it is based upon doing His sayings. Obedience is the issue. “”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Obedience, not lip service, is what God requires.
Have you ever thought about what gives us the strength and fuel to obey God? Why are some people obedient and some are not? Why are some doers of the Word and some are not? Why do some people stay faithful to God and remain true while others do not? Why do some start this Christian race but never finish? What is it that causes us to endure to the end (Matt. 24:13)?
I would like to suggest that it is the fear of the Lord. Obedience to the Lord is not only proof of your love for Him (John 14:21), but also of your fear of Him. There’s been an emphasis on love, although we’ve fallen short of the full counsel of God in that area, too, but there has not been nearly as much of an emphasis on the fear of the Lord. It takes both of them to produce a strong constitution in your Christian life. Notice in the following two different translations how the love of obedience in Jesus was rooted in the fear of the Lord. They are identical. Or a better way to say it would be that the manifestation of the fear of the Lord is obedience to His Word and His commandments.
“And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3 ESV
“He will delight in obeying the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3 NLT
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; Proverbs 24:3
If we build our lives and homes on the true wisdom and knowledge of God that comes from the foundation of the fear of the Lord, we need not fear the storm, because we will stand.
Paul’s Great Desire
One of the apostle Paul’s greatest burdens was this very thing: that the people He ministered to would stand firm in their faith and remain obedient to God even in the midst of the troubles and persecutions of his day. Other New Testament writers shared the same burden.
Paul’s great desire was that the people he taught would not falter under pressure, lest his work be useless or his labour be in vain. Notice his great concern for the Thessalonian saints (1 Thess. 3:1-9). He had warned them of the troubles that would soon come. In his farewell speech to the Ephesian elders, he warned them of the same troubles (Acts 20:25-31). To the Galatians and the Hebrews he did the same, warning them not to turn back to the Law. He was preparing them for the storm and the persecution they would receive from preaching the cross and paying the price to follow Jesus. Warnings are such a large part of the Scriptural admonition that Paul and the other New Testament writers gave to the churches. Today there is a glaring absence of these warnings in our preaching.
Here are some more scripture warnings: Matthew 7:15, 10:17, 24:4-5, 24:11-13, 24:24; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 12:1, 15; Acts 20:29-31; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10:12, 11:3; Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 5:6, Philippians 3:2, 18; Colossians 1:28, 2:8; 1 Timothy 4:16; Hebrews 2:1-3, 4:1; 2 Peter 1:10, 3:17.
Fellow minister and preacher, how well are you preparing yourself and your people for the storm? Are you teaching them the whole counsel of God or catering to itching ears? Are you including the warnings in your preaching? Are you preaching on only the goodness and mercy of God, or do you also preach on His severity, wrath and judgments? Are you only preaching on the love of God, or do you place emphasis on His holiness too? Do you ever preach on sin and repentance? Are your concepts of the love of God and the grace of God accurate and in accordance with Scripture?
If not, then Paul warns, we may be guilty of the blood of men: “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not keep from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. …. Therefore watch, remembering that for three years night and day I did not cease to warn everyone with tears” (Acts 20:26-27, 31).
Make sure you are preparing yourselves and those whom God has entrusted to you for the storm. Oh, how much stronger our churches would be if we included these things in our preaching and teaching and living them out before the people!
Paul wrote that we must “behold then the kindness and severity of God” (see Romans 11:22)
One of the biggest sources of spiritual delusion and false doctrine in the church today is the lack of the fear of the Lord. He is an awesome God not to be trifled with. Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10 tells us that“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”Proverbs 1:7 says that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” So the fear of the Lord is the foundation of both wisdom and knowledge.
A foundation holds up an entire building. If you remove it, everything built upon it collapses. So it is with foundational doctrines like the fear of the Lord.
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last” Revelation 1:17 (NKJV).
At the time John received this revelation, he was the only one of the twelve still alive. Therefore, he had walked with the Lord Jesus more than any other apostle. The most intimate of the apostles with Jesus, John would lean his head up against the Lord’s breast as they reclined for their last meal together. Even with this remarkable history, when John saw the Lord in His glory, he fell at His feet like a dead man!
Bearing in mind our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. He is the third person of the Trinity. Every time we engage in gossip, tell white lies, embellish a story to make us look good, the Holy Spirit is grieved and we certainly quench His work in our lives. Don’t forget the story of Ananias and Sapphira when they lied to the Holy Spirit. Acts 5:1-11
God is our loving Heavenly Father, but we also need to keep in mind that He is an awesome Almighty God. Those who only see His kindness are at least half deceived. Those who only see His severity are also at least half deceived. It takes knowing and walking in the tension of both that keeps us on the path of life.
So says, medical pioneer Professor Bernard Brandstater. He is in his eighties and still doing part-time operating theatre work at Loma Linda University, California. He has many firsts in his distinguished medical career. He introduced prolonged intubation to assist infant breathing. This landmark technology spread rapidly. It triggered the quick appearance of neonatal intensive care units around the world.
“God made us”, says Professor Brandstater. “That’s His identity: the Creator, the sovereign Lord of the Universe. God as Creator is foundational to our understanding of anything”. According to Professor Brandstater, a Creation that deserves a central place in our worldview cannot include a long process that is abhorrent to us with millions of years of pain, suffering and death. The process of Creation must fit the character and purposes of God who does all things well, who is generous and merciful and delights in beauty. This is the God we can trust, seek to know and love. The Creation is clearly described in God’s Word as a brief time-limited event with a clean ending on Day Six and a celebration the following day. Moreover God tells us why he made the universe in six days, it is a pattern for mankind, six days we will work and rest the seventh day and it’s significant we still have a seven-day week. Dare we add a drawn out process that distorts this picture. Sadly most people do, adding long ages of evolutionary time. As Darwin’s Theory of Evolution does not make sense under the scrutiny of the latest scientific findings so why should we bow to such conjectures? God’s mode of creating tells us about His mind, His heart. In the Bible there is no indication of a long incubation. “He spoke and it was done.” Psalm 33:9. Evil and death certainly exist in the world today but they came later, not as part of God’s original Creation. They were a tragic result of the FALL; mankind’s disobedience. For the full article by Don Batten on Professor Bernard Brandsater, Medical Pioneer: Creation Foundational go to http://www.creation.com