"There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Thoughts for Today:My wife Sherry and my daughter Amanda have a wonderful relationship; however it sometimes needs a little fine-tuning. Since it is the end of summer Sherry has been doing some school shopping for Amanda with strict instructions: "You may not wear any of your new clothes until school starts." (Most parents clearly understand the reasoning behind this directive.) On this particular day, we were all ready to leave for an event when out comes Amanda wearing the forbidden "new school shoes". Sherry asked Amanda: "What are you wearing?" Amanda replied, "My new shoes." Sherry said, "I told you, you are not to wear those shoes until school starts. Why are you disobeying me?" Amanda: "Because I knew if I asked permission, you would say no." Sherry: "Did you think I wouldn't notice? I think you might need a reminder of who's the boss, what do you think?"
As parents we sometimes see our children disobey when their desire for what they want is greater than their fear of punishment. It can be easy for us to get off course as well in our relationship with the Lord if we don't experience immediate and direct corrective action for our wrongdoing. We might begin to think the Lord didn't mean what He said in His Word; maybe the instruction doesn't apply to us personally; or perhaps He just might not notice.
In our passage today Paul tells us (I am paraphrasing), our obedience comes from fear of God. In other words, if there is no fear of consequence then there is no peace. Not the kind of fear that is paralyzing or based in terror, but rather is full of love, honor, respect, and knowledge that God's plan is for our prosperity not destruction. Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Questions to Ponder:I'm sure God is troubled by our disobedience and rebellion -- it is why He sent His Son Jesus to earth: "And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." (Colossians 1:20) Christ's death on the cross was all part of God's plan for mankind -- the Lord offers peace and the forgiveness of sin -- have you accepted this free gift? What is your response today? If you are already a Christian, does your life reflect your love of God through obedience to His Word?