Fear and Love in the Christian Life
It is often said that fear of God has no place in the Christian’s life because of 1 John 4:18.
But there are many commandments to fear in the New Testament; for example,Romans 11:20, “They [the Jews] were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud but fear.” Similarly, Hebrews 3:12 warns against unbelief (although the word “fear” is not used): “Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil unbelieving heart leading you to fall away from the living God.”
But we shouldn’t get the idea that the writers of the New Testament are opposing one another, as if some are in favor of fear and some against. Here’s the solution: a sober fear of God will motivate us to trust his mercy shown in Christ, and then this “trembling trust” will gradually remove the fear that drove us to it as we see more clearly what our Lord has done for us.
Should fear, then, play a role up to a certain point and never again in the Christian life? The point after which fear will have no proper place in the Christian’s life is the point at which his love is perfected. But none of us is yet perfected in love; none of us is without moments in which his delight in God fades and the “things which are seen” become deceptively attractive.
Therefore, the second line of “Amazing Grace” is not merely a once-for-all experience. It is for our everyday:
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed.
©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Find many other free resources by John Piper at desiringGod.org
This week’s Bible story is about King David and his friend Mephibosheth. King David had a lot more stuff than Mephibosheth so it’s easy to think about how he could help Mephibosheth. But this story also shows how Mephibosheth was able to help King David too. He was loyal to David at a time when other close friends turned their back on their king. Talk about how this story connects to this week’s point: I am better than nobody, but nobody is better than I am.
2 Samuel 9
3 David asked, “Are any of Saul’s family still alive? If there are, I want to be kind to them.”
Ziba answered, “One of Jonathan’s sons is still alive, but he can’t walk.”
4“Where is he?” David asked.
Ziba replied, “He lives in Lo-Debar with Machir the son of Ammiel.”
5-6David sent some servants to bring Jonathan’s son from Lo-Debar. His name was Mephibosheth, and he was the grandson of Saul. He came to David and knelt down.
David asked, “Are you Mephibosheth?”
“Yes, I am, Your Majesty.”
7David said, “Don’t be afraid. I’ll be kind to you because Jonathan was your father. I’m going to give you back the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul. Besides that, you will always eat with me at my table.”
8Mephibosheth knelt down again and said, “Why should you care about me? I’m worth no more than a dead dog.”
9David called in Ziba, Saul’s chief servant, and told him, “Since Mephibosheth is Saul’s grandson, I’ve given him back everything that belonged to your master Saul and his family. 10You and your 15 sons and 20 servants will work for Mephibosheth. You will farm his land and bring in his crops, so that Saul’s family and servants will have food. But Mephibosheth will always eat with me at my table.”
11-13Ziba replied, “Your Majesty, I will do exactly what you tell me to do.” So Ziba’s family and servants worked for Mephibosheth.
Mephibosheth was lame, but he lived in Jerusalem and ate at David’s table, just like one of David’s own sons. And he had a young son of his own, named Mica.
2 Samuel 19
24-25 Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul, also came to meet David. He had missed David so much that he had not taken a bath or trimmed his beard or washed his clothes the whole time David was gone. David asked him, “Why didn’t you go with me?”
26He answered, “Your Majesty, you know I can’t walk. I told my servant to saddle a donkey for me so I could go with you. But my servant left without me, and 27then he lied about me. You’re as wise as an angel of God, so do what you think is right. 28After all, you could have killed my whole family and me. But instead, you let me eat at your own table. Your Majesty, what more could I ask?”
29David answered, “You’ve said enough! I’ve decided to divide the property between you and Ziba.”
30Mephibosheth replied, “He can have it all! I’m just glad you’ve come home safely.”
GOD IS THE WORD OF LIFE: God wants us to know He is The Word of Life. John is the forerunner of Jesus and lays down the facts about our awesome creator. Even before the foundation of our world, Elohim was. In fact, Christ is the glue of the universe. Everything is held together by Him. Haven’t you read?
In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. And with this Word, God created all things. Nothing was made without the Word. Everything that was created received its life from him, and his life gave light to everyone. The light keeps shining in the dark, and darkness has never put it out.
Who is God? What is He like? How can we know more about Him when we can’t see Him with our eyes? This series explores the truths that God is real, God is everywhere, God is strong, and God is love.
When I 1st performed in Church,
they compared me to KJ-52.
When I 1st performed in Oregon,
they compared me to Braille.
I was offended by these comparisons. Mainly, because I didn’t want to be labeled a white rapper. Unfortunately, if you are a Christian that uses Hip-Hop culture and Rap as a tool to share the gospel, love & life, you are going to be labeled forever more. I had to get over it.
I then studied these two individuals after the claim and found out this wasn’t an attack on my character or style. This was a compliment. Since 2006 both of these artists have been the hardest working emcess in the industry. They have been through a lot. They have paved the way. They have knocked down a lot of doors and walls in the music scene which I have unknowingly benefited from.
The thing I admire the most about these two artists is their business mind. How they share music and how they approach the industry just astonishes me. Not just because of their methods, but because they are successful in mostly every thing they do.
They impress me. They inspire me.
So the next time you are compared to someone else, don’t be quick to deny the claim. Instead, sit back and think about it for a minute. Realize, we are not in a competition. We are in a community. Let’s continue to build one another up!
Chris Treborn | AnchorMEN
2 Corinthians 5:17
In most sports, there is one feat that galvanizes the fans. In golf, it’s a hole-in-one. In basketball, it’s the slam-dunk. In baseball, it’s the home run. But in football, it’s the touchdown. It always brings fans to their feet.
The objective is simple. The team with the most points wins and usually that means the most touchdowns. But the greatest and most exciting touchdown has yet to occur, and when it does, the players on the winning team will go wild with joy. Those on the losing team will be devastated with defeat.
The Bible tells about it in the Old and New Testaments. The Messiah will touch down on the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem when Jesus returns.
Do you believe it? Will you be ready for the ultimate feat?
How you respond in faith to Christ determines whether you are on the winning team or losing team–forever.
It is my hope that you’ll be able to celebrate the touchdown, when Jesus comes!
A modern day phenomenon in the age of TV is the irrational outpouring of pseudo grief. People grieve more intensely for an image they’ve never personally known, than they do for a neighbor or family member who dies.
We saw this most dramatically with the death of Lady Di and JFK, Jr. Both represented what society saw as the best of their nation’s royalty. Both were young, glamorous, attractive and wealthy. They were the ideal in the world’s eyes. Yet, most of us didn’t know them. We just knew the image presented on the screen.
Do you care more for images than the real people in your life?
Who do you grieve for the most when they’re gone? If it’s an image on TV, you’re living a ‘pseudo life,’… not a real life. For real living comes with real relationships and sometimes, with loss, that involves real grief. But when that loss comes, a real relationship with God will get you through that grief. Real relationships have real pain, but they also have real meaning. Meaningful relationships with God and your fellow man are essential to real living.
Do you ever say, “It was just too tempting,” or “I wish I hadn’t lost my cool?”
A key to successful living is self-control–controlling our emotions, desires, passions, or our tongue. Self-control is about self-discipline. The Bible compares it to sports. It says, “Run your race to win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.” Self-control is essential to success in living, as well as in sports.
Let me suggest a few ways to learn it:
1. Clarify your purpose–what are you trying to accomplish? Is it to lose a few pounds? Then your decisions will be shaped by that purpose.
2. Be honest with yourself about where you lack self-control. Alcoholics who find victory over booze know the first step is admitting their inability to control the problem.
3. Ask God for self-discipline.
4. Take action on that discipline, one day at a time. Self-control is a real key to successful living.
Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
Three Keys For Mom
It’s not easy being a mom these days. Whether you’re home full time or working outside the home, there are challenges. There’s a verse of scripture in Romans that contains three keys for moms and, really, anyone who wants to live a victorious life:
Be joyful in hope. Every mom has hope for her kids. When a mom trusts in the Lord and believes His promises in scripture, she can be joyful in hope for the future of her family.
Persevere in trials. There will be difficulties and trials for every mom (kids not doing well, times of feeling unappreciated, etc.). But when her hope is grounded in God, she can find strength to endure any trial.
Be devoted to prayer. Hey, moms, with so many trials and so much out of your control, be devoted to prayer. Turn your concerns, your fears, and your children over to the Lord. Prayer is the power source for being a great mom and a great person.
Hope, perseverance, and prayer–three keys to victory for moms and most everyone.
Forgiving Our Enemies
In 1962 in Montgomery, Alabama, a young, unknown Baptist preacher came home to find a large crowd gathered in front of his house that had just been bombed.
He ran inside to see if his wife and daughter had survived. He found they were unharmed. He comforted them before going outside to the large, angry crowd.
They had gathered with chains and weapons to retaliate against the white community for such a despicable deed. He told them there would be no retaliation saying, “Jesus tells us to love our enemies, to forgive those who persecute us. Now go home.” Thus began the legacy of an amazing man with a unique spirit, Martin Luther King, Jr.
What King did on that occasion isn’t natural–it’s supernatural. The ability to forgive our enemies who have wronged us is often beyond our natural ability, but it is the Spirit of Christ. It is true Christianity. It is a power available to us all and it can change the world.
KSON stands for King’s Son which is an appropriate name for this PK known to his friends as AJ. KSON has been writing and rhyming since he was living in Modesto, California. His Father’s Church was in the heart of the city and it was the first Church I’ve been to in such a shady neighborhood. But this was the heart and intent of KSON and his father all along. They were right in it. I strongly believe this impacted KSON into the man he has become and I know this has had a huge influence on his powerful lyrics.
In 2006 KSON moved to Oklahoma and jumped into the hip-hop scene in the greater Tulsa area. He was blessed with the opportunity to open for KJ-52 and Group 1 Crew. A few of his songs got play on his local radio station as well. All of this just helped him prepare and build up his skill and craft.
Since the beginning of this project, KSON has faced diverse adversity. “I’ll Be Here” reflects just one of his troubling experiences. In the past few years, KSON has been surrounded by darkness, not by choice. It seems as if everything has been against him. But that hasn’t stopped him or slowed him down. He remains a light in a dark place. And although he could have faced harsh depression, he said he will “keep the Light In Me” and shine on like a K Kid should.
This album has strong lyrics backed by hard hitting production. His words hit you quick like jabs from a hard-spitting-emcee like Braille. And like Braille, he isn’t afraid of speaking the truth and attacking all issues he sees. KSON doesn’t just provide trunk rattlers, he provides some soulful music and I’m sure tobyMac would be proud of him. This is just the beginning of the progression of a true artist.
The only thing I dislike about this project is that it is only 9 tracks. But that is okay. We know that with the success from this project, KSON will continue shining from within and sharing the light with us all.
My favorite songs are all the ones with features coincidentally, but if I had to narrow it down, I’ll take; I’ll Be Here, K KID, & Victory as my top three favorite songs from Light In Me.
- Christian Treborn -
RELATED POSTS: SoulAnchorMusic.com/LightInMe
UNTIL DEATH DO US PART
Although marriage is permanent on earth, it will not last forever. Jesus says it has been ordained for this world only: The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection (Luke 20:34-36).
It is important that we keep this temporal quality of marriage in mind. While in this life, our marriages must last “until death do us part,” yet each of us will stand alone before God. Therefore, our marriage must never come before our relationship with Him. Jesus declares in Luke 14:26 that He must come first in all our relationships. If we put Him first, then our love for Him will make all our other loves seem like hate in comparison. Jesus wants first place in our lives.
When Jesus has first place in our lives, we will act with responsibility. We will provide the climate of warmth and fellowship that will make our homes full of love and godliness. Christ has left principles and guidelines to govern every Christian home; and if we really love Him, we will keep His commandments.
In the parable of the lost son, the father restores the rebellious younger brother to his former position at a great cost to the elder brother. Why? His father had divided his property between them before the younger brother left. The younger brother spent his portion and the family estate now belonged to the elder brother. For his father to restore the younger brother meant taking something away from the elder brother and he was angry. His attitude reveals that he had served his father to earn a reward rather than out of love.
As parents, we often have the same attitude towards our Heavenly Father. We are resentful when we struggle with our kids while non-believing parents seem to be coasting along. We feel entitled to greater blessings and we remind God that we faithfully attended church, prayed, and read our Bibles. Ironically, obedience can be the biggest hurdle to experiencing grace because we tend to feel as if we’ve earned it.
There is a true elder brother, however. Unlike the elder brother in the parable, he seeks us and desires to have a relationship with us. He came down from heaven and willingly paid the cost to bring us home. Recognizing what Jesus was willing to do to “find” us makes all the difference.
Obey God in response to His blessings, not to earn them.
Because this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to revel andfeast andmake merry.
“You’re the only mother who isn’t letting me see the movie!” “Lauren’s parents are so much cooler that you guys.” “Dad, you’re a control freak.”
Hearing these kinds of statements can really sting. And sometimes, our hurt feelings can cause us to be overly harsh in our words and discipline.
But as Christian parents, we are called to carry out our responsibilities with humility and love rather than sarcasm and guilt. This is only possible when we are confident of our value in Christ and allow His love to hold us up and cover the pain of disrespectful statements.
Don’t let your hurt feelings result in ungodly parenting.
He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding has a cool spirit.
If you trusted Christ as your Savior, you have a new identity. You are like an adopted child. You have a new name, new family and new traditions. Your old customs have been replaced by new ones that set you apart from those of other families. Paul describes this as being “in Christ”.
Satan would love to steal your identity. He seeks to lure you back to the old identity by tempting you with his family’s customs and traditions — anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language (Col 3:8), but you can resist his identity theft by practicing the customs of your new family — compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Col 3:12).
Your children were born into your new family’s traditions, and they should be raised that way. Your practice of the new customs will expel the old ones from your life. Your new identity based on your adoption into the family of God, is a powerful incentive for them to want to be adopted as well.
Protect yourself and your children from spiritual identity theft.
And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God.
As we tackle the details of life, we may neglect the most important thing; praying for our kids. Do you find yourself too distracted or exhausted to pray? Perhaps your prayers have become a bit routine? Paul gives us an example of a great prayer warrior in Epaphras. What does it mean to “labor fervently” in prayer? The Greek word used here is agoonizomenos (the English word is agonize) and describes the struggle of an athlete as he competes. It implores us to throw ourselves into prayer with persistence, discipline, and zeal.
Imagine if we invested as much time and effort praying for our kids as we spend on their sports activities–buying uniforms and equipment, going to their practices, and cheering them on at games!
Follow the example of Epaphras in praying fervently for your kids.
Epaphras, who is one of yourselves, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [He is] always striving for you earnestly in his prayers, [pleading] that you may [as persons of ripe character and clear conviction] stand firm and mature [in spiritual growth], convinced and fully assured in everything willed by God.
This verse refers to the journey of the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt to the Promised Land. God alone led the Israelites through the desert. They faced difficulties and trials, many of their own making, but through it all, it was very obvious that God was the only one that could protect and prosper them.
When we guide our children, we should follow God’s example and let them know that no foreign god should be allowed to come between them and the one true God. Keep in mind that “foreign gods” take a variety of forms in today’s world, such as money, power, beauty, and fame. We must be diligent to watch for the influence of these gods in our lives and the lives of our children.
Let your children know that the Lord alone is sufficient to lead your family.
So the Lord alone led him; there was no foreign god with Him.
When Saul turned against David, David was forced to run for his life. At one point, he and his men hid in a cave at the desert oasis of En Gedi. As Saul searched the area for David, he unknowingly entered the very cave where David and his men were hiding. Although David could have easily ambushed and killed him, he refused because he knew Saul was God’s anointed king. He left judgment to God.
When someone has wronged us or our children, we are often tempted to seek revenge. We may gossip, give them the “silent treatment,” or exclude them. We have a choice, however, to live our lives in the spirit or in the flesh. David refused to fight in the flesh, and left Saul’s judgment to the Spirit of God.
Live in the Spirit and allow God to be the judge.
May the Lord be judge and judge between me and you, and see and plead my cause, and deliver me out of your hands.
1 Samuel 24:15