When Fear Isn’t About Being Afraid

I pray you’ve heard from the pulpit about reading scripture in context.  That means you, with the help of God the Holy Spirit, can discern meaning by reading the verses surrounding the one you are drawn to.  Understanding or knowing Hebrew and Greek can help as well, but the two languages are similar in that one word can have multiple meanings.  That’s when I turn to my trusty concordance to look the scripture up to see the sometimes opposite, sometimes varied meanings of the key word or phrase.

This morning, God woke me up with the scripture, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”.  The key word here is fear, and I looked it up in Strong’s concordance.  Fear has two biblical meanings.  One is indeed boot-shaking being afraid.  The other meaning is awe or reverence, which is the meaning here.

 

Proverbs 1:7(NKJV)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

 

What this verse says is the a right attitude towards God is the foundation for right spiritual thinking.  It also says that some hate wisdom and instruction and choose not to receive it.  Solomon requested wisdom from God so that he could rule God’s people rightly and make right wise judgments.  Remember the account of the two new mothers, one of whose babies died during the night?  There was a dispute brought between the women as to whose child lived.  It was up to Solomon to discern who was who.  It was the birth mom who was willing to give her child up so it could live.  That’s wisdom on Solomon’s part.

 

What does boot-shaking fear have to do with awe and reverence? In the new testament, God inspired the verse:  “There is no fear in love.  Perfect love casts out fear”.  Believers know that God is love and that we obey Him because we love Him, not because we are afraid of Him.  The word “perfect” is also translated as “complete”.  No matter how long we have been God’s, only His love is complete.

 

1 John 4:18(NKJV)

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

 

Spiritual family, let’s live His love in as much completeness as God grants us.  Let’s revere Him while not being afraid He will turn us into grease spots.  One more thing:  note that it is God who casts fear away from us. “Perfect love casts out fear”.  Praise God for literally loving that boot-shaking fear from us.

 

Copyright 2018, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved

 

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Coping and Living, Christian Meditation, fear, Godly love | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Following Jesus When It’s Culturally Incorrect

Hi spiritual family. This morning God led me to 1 Corinthians 6, which addresses sexual immorality in the congregation. The congregation actually allowed a man who slept with his father’s wife to continue to be in the fellowship with no consequences for his immoral behavior. It took Paul stepping in to spur them to action to temporarily remove this man from their midst. It was a good thing for the congregation, and it was a good thing for the man, since the intent was to literally shock him into obedience. In the same chapter in verses 8 & 9, Paul defines what sexual immorality is and that those who sin in this and other ways will not inherit God’s kingdom. In verse 9, the word translated “effeminate” in the King James is translated as “homosexuals” in the New King James, each translation followed by the word “sodomites”. To me, this is especially relevant given society’s literal approval and acceptance of the LGBT crowd. What needs to matter to us is what God wants and thinks when there’s a conflict with society. Let’s begin 2018 with truly examining ourselves to see if we are in the faith, asking God to help us see wrong thinking and influences that can be taken for granted. When we say we follow Jesus, let’s follow Him in every way. Be blessed. Happy 2018.

 

1 Corinthians 6:8-10 (NKJV)

No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Copyright 2018, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved

Posted in Christian Coping and Living, Following Jesus, LGBT, sexual immorality, sexual perversion | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Do you really honor God or do you do what seems right to you?

Those of you who are God’s were challenged by celebrating Halloween, which in no way honors Him.  I pray you all have seen my posts so that there is no question in your mind that Halloween honors satan, death, witchcraft and the occult.

On October 30, one of you private messaged me and let me know that your employer requires you to dress up and that you chose a Beverly Hillbillies character as the least harmless way to comply with your employer’s mandate.  My response was that it is between you and God at this point and that you know better.

So, everyone else, what would you do if your employer demanded something of you that conflicts with God’s way.  Would you comply, fearing your potential loss of income?  Would you politely decline, saying that it is a matter of spiritual conscience for you to follow God and live His way?  What would you do?

This is a very serious spiritual matter, and it does affect your eternity with God.  There are some spiritually bold and brave souls that have refrained from dishonoring God in any way.  Some have lost their jobs and their livelihoods because of it.  Others have paid hefty civil penalties.  And, like the Apostle Paul, they consider that great gain spiritually.  As a spiritual leader, I will never perform anything to do with a same sex so-called marriage regardless of the penalty civilly.  There is no bigotry involved as others have accused.  It all has to do with honoring God and living His way.

Is God powerful enough to give you another job if you lose the one you have because of spiritual conscience and conflict?  Is God powerful enough to give you grace and favor in the sight of your employer so you can move forward with your spiritual conscience intact while you honor Him with all that you are?

From this moment on, you can decide to honor God regardless of the potential personal cost.  Rely on Him and Him alone and not on what seems right to you but surely is not spiritually correct.

Mark 7:6 (NKJV)

He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.

Luke 13:28 (NKJV)

28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.

 

Mark 10:21(NKJV)

21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

 

Luke 9:23 (NKJV)

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

 

Spiritual family, let’s honor God in all that we say and do.  Let no self-reasoned excuses stop us from doing so.  May our spiritual consciences be clear.

 

copyright 2017, Pastors George and Sharon Billington.  All Rights Reserved

Posted in celebrate Jesus, Christian Choices, Christian Coping and Living, christian focus, Christian Obedience, Following Jesus, honor God, spiritual conscience, walking with God | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t honor satan by celebrating Halloween

Posted in Christian Choices, Christian Coping and Living, christian focus, Christian Obedience, honor God | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Your choice: Honor God or Celebrate Halloween

Posted in celebrate Jesus, Christian Coping and Living, christian focus, Christian Spiritual Counsel, Christian Teaching, Christian Testimony, honor God | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How is your spiritual love connection?

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Your Laughter Sounds Like Tears

Long before God got my attention, I laughed a lot. Thing is, I was a mess.  I was trying desperately to hide the emotional scars from verbal, physical and sexual abuse, and I was not successful.  You’ve probably seen some who are like I was who cried on the inside and seemed to always laugh on the outside.  My abusers taught me that I was not worthy of love or attention unless I performed the way they wanted.

How different from God, who loved me through that time and many years later to this day.  He taught me that being who I am is good enough for Him.  However I am:  upset, happy, whatever.  He taught me that I needed to learn to love, to appreciate myself and see myself as He does.  It’s taken years, but His love and approval are all I need.  People tend to want me in their boxes, and God wants me to be, well, me and to be authentic.

I am damaged and unable to shed tears even though I feel deeply.  God is okay with that. I hope you are, too.  God has taught me to be love as He is, and I can authentically rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.  God is my everything, and throughout this hard life I’ve had to live, He has always been there, especially at times when others abandoned me.

There are a number of astounding miracles in my life, not the least of which is my relationship with God.  You might think that because of abuse, my ability to relate  to God as Father and Protector would be compromised.  Believe me when I say that when I asked Jesus into my life as Savior, I also asked Him into my life as Lord.  Every area of my life has been yielded to Him to transform or use as He sees fit.  Nothing separates me from His love.

Let’s pray:  Father God, please let these words that flow through me make a difference in the lives You have in mind.  May all be encouraged that there is no situation, no mindset that is forever hopeless, for You are the God who transforms minds and hearts to receive You when You determine it’s time to do so.  May You grant to all who read these words the encouragement and compassion needed to live Your love.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

2 Corinthians 1:3 (NKJV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

 

Romans 8:35-39 (NKJV)

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 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.

 

Psalm 145:9 (NKJV)

The Lord is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works.

 

copyright 2017, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved

Posted in burdens, Christian Coping and Living, Christian Healing, Christian Meditation, Christian Testimony, emotional pain, encouragement, prayer, suffering | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments