Archives: Manna for Today
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To Fear or NOT to Fear?
Choose this day who you will serve

To Fear or NOT to Fear?

In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence,
And His children will have a place of refuge.
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death.
Prov 14.26-27

There is no fear in love.
Perfect love casts out fear,
because fear involves torment.
He who fears has not been made perfect in love.
1 John 4.18

Fear Dad? No
When I was a child, I did NOT fear that my Dad would ever cast me away. Or beat me into a bloody pulp. Or kill me.

Neither did I fear that my Dad would ever fail to provide for all my needs to the best of his ability.

Why did I not fear my Dad? Because I knew he loved me. I KNEW it! He was my dad. He took care of me. I loved him. He loved me!

My love for my Dad, and my awareness of his love for me, cast out fear.

Fear Dad? Yes!
When I was about 7 years old, I got caught stealing a toy from the Woolworth store. The manager let me go, but called my parents to tell them what happened.

As I rode the trolley toward home I was literally trembling. Why? Because I *feared* my Dad. My ears already tingled as I thought about the scolding I knew was going to get. My eyes were already burning with tears as I envisioned the disappointment on the faces of my Mom and Dad.

I feared my Dad because I knew he was strict. I feared my Dad because I knew that he placed very high value on honesty. I feared my Dad because I knew that he LOVED me too much to let me get away with dishonoring myself and our family.

Fear God? Yes
If you are a child of God, then be aware -- God sets very high standards for His children. Moreover, God loves you too much to allow you to freely dishonor God or yourself or the family of God.

Read carefully
and fearfully the following verses from God's Book...
Let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Take care and do it (namely, do good and not evil), for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God. No partiality. No taking of bribes. 2 Chron 19.7

As God who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
1 Pet 1.15-16

(Jesus commanded...) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Mt 5.48

Do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him. For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.
Heb 12.5b-6

If we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged (by God). But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. 1 Cor 11.31-32

Deliver such a one (namely, a Christian who lives in persistent sin) to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Cor 5.5
Fear God? NO!
If you are a child of God, then be aware -- God loves you with an everlasting love. He will spank you if you need it but you need never fear that He will leave you or forsake you.

According to God's unbreakable and holy Word, God will NEVER give up on you...
The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying. "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love..." Jer 31.3a

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Pet 1.3-5

(Jesus promised...) All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
John 6.37

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand... For the LORD loves justice, and does not forsake His saints. They are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psalm 37.23-24, 28

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Rom 11.29

Be confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ
Philippians 1.6

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 8.38-39
Vine's Expository Dictionary
Concerning the various meanings of the Hebrew word
yare (as translated "fear"), Vine's Dictionary of Old Testament Words has the following entry...
TO FEAR | Strong's #3372 | Transliterated: yare

Text. "to be afraid, stand in awe, fear." This verb occurs in Ugaritic and Hebrew (both biblical and post-biblical). The Bible attests it approximately 330 times and in all periods.

yare connotes the psychological reaction of "fear." Yare may indicate being afraid of something or someone. Jacob prayed. "Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau. for I fear (yare) him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children" (Gen. 32.11).

Used of a person in an exalted position,
yare connotes "standing in awe." This is not simple fear, but reverence, whereby an individual recognizes the power and position of the individual revered and renders him proper respect.

In this sense, the word may imply submission to a proper ethical relationship to God; the angel of the Lord told Abraham. "...I know that thou fearest (
yare) God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me" (Gen. 22.12). The verb can be used absolutely to refer to the heavenly and holy attributes of something or someone. So Jacob said of Bethel. "How awesome (yare) is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven" (Gen. 28.17).
Attributes of the Reverential Fear of God
The following Bible verses throw additional light on the "fear of God" by His children...
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil Prov 8.13b

The fear of the LORD prolongs days
Prov 10.27a

In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.
Prov 14.26-27

Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, than great treasure with trouble.
Prov 15.16

By the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.
Prov 16.6b

The fear of the LORD leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction. He will not be visited with evil.
Prov 19.23

By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life.
Prov 22.4

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever
Psalm 19.9a

The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him
Ps 103.17a

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom
Psalm 111.10a

Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD
Psalm 112.1a

God will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him. He also will hear their cry and save them. Psalm 145.19

The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.
Psalm 147.11

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
Heb 12.28-29

Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
Acts 9.31

Bottom Line
To you, as a believer in Jesus, God is your loving Father. But He is HOLY HOLY HOLY!!! He is not to be spoken of glibly or with disrespect. He is never to be taken for granted. His holy name is not to be used except with your utmost respect and love and awe of who He is, and what He has done to save you.

You are God's child. Therefore...

  • God will raise you to be holy & strong. Never get the idea that you can practice sin with impunity. Fear Him!
  • God will see to it that you get to Heaven, no matter what. Trust Him!
  • God bore your sins and bled and suffered and died to save you. Love Him!

Choose this day who you will serve

No one can serve two masters;
For either he will hate the one & love the other,
Or he will be devoted to the one & despise the other.
You cannot
serve God and mammon.
Matthew 6:24

What Are You Devoted To?
by Marc Weinstein

Serve: to be a slave to (literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily): - be in bondage, (do) serve (-ice).

What do you choose to serve? What are you devoted to?

Matthew 6.24 provides the “standard” for your devotion or drive in your relationship with it. What is your motivation in life: to earn a decent living and be content? Or to be obsessed with making money and having material things?

Consider carefully the following Bible passage...

... perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.1 Tim 6.5-8
Matthew 6.24 says that you cannot serve both God and mammon (money). In other words, you must CHOOSE what you will serve.

1 Timothy 6.5-8 provides God's own advice as to which choice you should make. His Word tells you that you will have "great gain" by choosing godliness first, and being content with what you have.

In Bible days and now, it was a common Jewish teaching that if you had a lot of money or wealth, it was proof that God was blessing your life. Many teach today that you are one of the “King’s Kids” so why shouldn't you have the same as the world? Or, some say, if you give more to some TV ministry (or other) that you will reap tenfold or some ratio of blessing proportional to the giving.

In my present life circumstance, I suffer a neurological disability, live in an old but decent trailer, drive a 20-year-old car but in near-new condition. I live on disability alone. It pays the rent and my other routine expenses. But by some effort, I am able to make money other ways, not a lot, but something a little extra.

And when I give to the ministry, I give with an obedient and joyful attitude, not
expecting to receive some super blessing as a reward.

So what are your present circumstances? Yes, you may be barely making it, but you should realize that the Lord has provided “food and raiment let us be therewith content.”

Now I'm not saying let's all
just get by and have no ambitions to better ourselves. But in having those ambitions, are you obsessed and enslaved to them? Have you forgotten your spiritual condition and relationship with the Lord?

Consider again God's Word...
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Tim 6.10

Love of money means: “fond of silver (money) covetous.”

Erred from the faith means: “to lead astray…passively to stray (from truth): - err, seduce.

1 Timothy 6.10 counsels you NOT to be so enslaved to money that it leads you away from your devotion to God and the truth of His Word. 1 Timothy 6.7 adds further counsel as follows...

But thou, O man of God, flee these things (love of money); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
1 Tim 6.7

So... what's controlling YOUR life?

Grandma Lily's Treasury of Wit & Wisdom

When you invite special guests to your home, do you warm up the leftovers and serve them on paper plates in front of the television? Of course not. I'm sure that you prepare a special meal, use your best dishes, and arrange your schedule so that you can spend quality time with your guests.

In other words, you offer them your very best.

On the other hand, many folks invite Lord Jesus into their lives, and then serve Him nothing but scraps and "leftovers"...

  • Do you give Jesus time "leftover" from your work, your family, and your recreation?
  • Do you give Him talents "leftover" from your social organizations, your sports activities, and your hobbies?
  • Do you give Him money "leftover" after you pay your bills and your taxes and put some money aside for your vacations?

But God's Word says...

Out of all the gifts you receive you shall set aside the contributions to the Lord; and the gift which you hallow must be taken from the choicest of them. Num 18.29

Have you given your "choicest" to the Lord who died for you, or have you given Him your "leftovers"?


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