Pastor Ben's Blog
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October 22, 2018, 11:56 AM

Fearing the LORD



Malachi 4:2–3 CSB

2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall. 3 You will trample the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day I am preparing,” says the Lord of Armies.

The righteous do not have to fear the Day of the Lord, but rather that day should bring great comfort.  It may feel like night right now, but the dawn is coming and the righteous will rise.

The righteous are described as those “who fear my name”; those who fear God’s name.  What does it mean to fear God’s name?  Somewhere around 300 times the Bible makes reference to fearing the Lord, so it is something we should understand.  Fearing God is portrayed as a positive thing in the Scriptures.  Fearing the Lord is not being in anxiety or being frightened.  Martin Luther distinguished fearing the Lord in what he termed filial fear, drawing on the idea of family.  It refers to the fear that a child has for his parents. In this regard, Luther is thinking of a child who has tremendous respect and love for his father or mother and who dearly wants to please them. He has a fear or an anxiety of offending the ones he loves, not because he’s afraid of torture or even of punishment, but rather because he’s afraid of displeasing the ones who are, in that child’s world, the source of security and love.

This fear of the LORD is very lacking in many churches today.  Many people are very flippant and causual with God.  In their desire to make God approachable, they have lost the fear they should have.  Even though God invites us into a personal, intimate relationship with him, we must never lose the fear of God.  

To fear the Lord means to take his person, position, power, and principles  seriously  as we seek to please him. 

The fear of God means to respect him, obey him, submit to his discipline, and worship him in awe and adoration.  Can you say that you fear the Lord?



Comments

10-22-2018 at 12:14 PM
Sharon K Gaskey
Thank you for explaining what fearing the Lord means. I never really understood till I read this written this way. I always wondered how can you fear such a lovinng and forgiving Lord.
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October 16, 2018, 11:56 AM

Ben Karner's Ministry Podcast - The Importance of Application


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October 11, 2018, 2:39 PM

Wednesday Night Live Stream 10/10/18 - Judges 9:1-57 - Abimelech



 

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October 10, 2018, 10:36 AM

Ben Karner's Ministry Podcast - What do we do when bad things happen?


 




October 8, 2018, 11:42 AM

Act Justly



Act Justly

Justice is a hot term in society today.  Everyone is crying out for justice for their cause.  Terms like “social justice” and “equality” are bantered about without being defined.  What I have found is that many of the groups who are crying out for justice aren’t really looking for justice at all.  They want a particular outcome.  They want their way and will to be done.  What they want is not justice, but rather it is vengeance and control.  They want power.  They don’t want equality.  They want superiority.  Finding the truth is not important to them.  They simply want a particular outcome to come to pass.  

What is justice?  Justice is about being impartial.  It is about looking at the facts of the situation and assigning awards or punishment based solely about the merits.  

The Bible has much to say about the subject of justice.  As a matter of fact, one of the things God’s people are called to be specifically is people who act justly.  We are to be, by the power of the Holy Spirit, impartial.  The prophet Micah wrote:

8 Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

We are to act justly.  We are to look at the facts of a situation and determine what is right.  God’s followers are to be people who act justly.  What does it mean to act justly?To act justly is to protect the vulnerable and live a life of love.

This is more than just talk.  Biblical justice is evidenced in acts of love and mercy.  Abortion is unjust.  All of us, when we go to the ballot box, should vote for life.  We need to support women who are in situations where they are scared and vulnerable.  Human trafficking is unjust.  We need to support efforts to rescue people and children who are being exploited.   Showing favoritism is unjust.  We need to be fair in making our business and personal decisions.  Accepting accusations as facts is unjust.  We need to be people who seek the truth.  We should be feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, helping the sick, caring for orphans, and protecting the vulnerable.  

God will stand against those who do not protect the vulnerable members of our society.  God will stand as a witness against sorcerers.  These are people who practice witchcraft.  What is amazing is that all of the other groups of people under God’s specific judgment are equated with witchcraft.  Adulterers will be judged.  People who give false testimony will be judged.  God knows the truth of what happened.  You may be able to fool a jury or a group of senators, but God knows the truth.  God will judge those who oppress.  These are people who use their authority to extort and defraud.  God will judge those who take advantage of the vulnerable members of our society.

Are you acting justly?


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