Memorize : The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
Devotional Reading: Acts 19:1-20
The story of Cornelius is one that is may appear contradictory because even though he was a Gentile the bible refers to him as devout, having the fear of God with his house, and as one who always prayed. The bible says the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God can be defined as living under God consciousness in all we say and do, you consult God before you make any decisions or take any step; you live continuously under the consciousness that you don’t own yourself; the LORD is your master and you want to please Him in all you do, you acknowledge Him in all your ways and allow Him direct your path.
If you take time to look at how some believers behave today even amongst workers in the church, some of them behave like people who don’t have the fear of God in them. They come late for service with little or no feeling of guilt that they have done something wrong, they walked into service casually, some have abandoned evangelism, they will give one excuse or the other, some don’t bother to pay their tithe or even give offering, the fire of God has gone down in the lives of many Christians, they have become cold or lukewarm like the church in Laodicea; Revelation 3:16; “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth”.
The average Christian today believes they can do whatever they want, and when corrected, they take offence which is a form of abuse to the grace of God, “the church is falling away” This takes us to the question, “Do we truly understand what it means to be a Christian?”
It has become quite onerous today to tell the difference between the average Christian, the church and the world. Worldliness has creep into the church, the alter of God has been turned to alter of comedy and fashion parade, the focus in the church is no longer the salvation of souls, rather it is obtaining miracle and prosperity. Sin is no longer a big deal, the spread of false teachings on eternal security – “once saved forever saved” has deceived many and damaged their faith, this has made the conscience of many to be seared with hot iron according to 1Timothy 4:2. Some of us have lived in this lies and deception for so long that we don’t feel condemned when we sin, many don’t even hear from God anymore.
This is a dangerous state or position for any Christian to be, it is the final stage before apostasy. King Saul got to this point in his life when God stopped communicating with him 1 Samuel 28:6-8; “And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams nor by Urim, nor by prophets. Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee”.
If we for one moment consider ourselves and conduct an honest and sincere check, some of us would be found wanting. Many acclaimed Christians live a life of double standards, a private life and a public life.
The private life of such Christian represents their real life with many secret sins they don’t want people to know about while their public life is our make-believe life, which they present to those around them.
There are some men of God who we look up to in public as role models but who beat their wives in private. There are people who publicly judge sexual immorality but live riotous lives in private. There are people who serve God publicly but at night consult satanic altars in search of powers to perform miracles and obtain wealth.
When will we stop deceiving ourselves and abusing the grace of God? The Bible states We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing” Ezra 10:2 Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer there in? ”We can’t continue to hide under the grace of God as an excuse to sin and think we will make heaven. As a church and body of Christ, we are supposed to shape society, but rather we have become the reflection of the world characterized by unforgiveness, hate, wickedness, immorality and competition amongst church leaders. At this point, we need to repent and retrace our steps back to God, asking Him for the grace to consistently live in the fear of God which is wisdom. Don’t despise the wisdom of God, embrace and use it in all your ways, the LORD will direct your path.
May the LORD help us to present ourselves before Him honest and holy especially as we Crossover into the new year tonight so that we can be considered worthy of eternal life with God at the New Jerusalem.
Prayer point: O LORD, plant your fear in my heart, help me not to despise you in all my ways in Jesus name.
Key Dose: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Pastor James Ademuyiwa
In His Presence Christ Tabernacle