From Steve’s Desk…
The other morning, I walked outside to a cool crisp 55-degree temperature and felt such a relief from the heat of this summer. It has been so hot and humid these past weeks. I guess they blame it on a Bermuda high pressure that was stationary and not letting any weather advance; and thus, we had a continual blast of hot and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico. Then once the weather system began to move on, it created a volatile atmosphere that led to a violent few days of storms and tornadoes.
We in Indiana know what it is like to live under the threat of tornadoes. Indiana is considered to be at the end of Tornado Alley that begins out west in Texas and Oklahoma and moves eastward. The Advance community is well aware of the dangers and damages of a tornado. I have heard the stories of the past and have witnessed some reminders of their power recently in Linnsburg and Mace. Tornadoes are a powerful force of nature and we fear them, but I hope we also respect them. If there is a warning, we heed the warning.
Fearing God is not unlike fearing a tornado. God has great power too and has done amazing and unforgettable things: the flood; the plagues; and of course, the resurrection of Jesus; just to name a few. God is powerful and is very deserving of our respect of that power. He has the power to do anything He chooses, and we should fear Him.
“For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:4
Fear of God is not something that I think we feel in today’s culture. If we did fear Him, then our lives would look a lot different than they do. I think we would walk a straighter path if we truly feared God’s wrath. God’s wrath should be feared; but fear isn’t always about trembling. It is also about respect. The fear of disappointing God should guide our thoughts and actions just as much as a fear of punishment. This type of fear is fueled by the love, respect and gratitude we have for our loving God.
Psalm 33:18 “But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.”
Fearing the Lord is something we probably need to do; but fear Him out of love and respect and let that guard your heart, your mind, your lips and your actions.
Upcoming Sermon Series:
Beginning September 11th, we will begin a 3-week series on the Second Coming of Jesus entitled, “Get READY”. We will be looking at what the Bible says about why, when and how Jesus will return and take us to our eternal reward. Then in October we will begin a series called “Move” which focuses on our service to God. Serving God is an action of our love and faith, not an act of salvation but because of our salvation. There are many things that God has asked us to do as a church and as an individual. We will be looking at how He wants us to move in His service to Him, His church and our community. We will culminate this series with our second annual Mission Advance efforts in October. Let us be prepared to move in the ways He wants us to go and to do the things He wants us to do.