Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Today’s devotion is adapted from a recent post on Pastor Greg’s blog. To see his latest blog entry, click here.
The Early Church Had It Right
Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
The early Church, the Church of the book of Acts, “turned their world upside down” (see Acts 17:6). Do we ever need that today!
These first-century believers were filled with both joy and the fear of the Lord.
Acts 2:46-47 tells us, “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people” (nkjv).
This phrase “gladness and sincerity of heart” literally means “with unaffected joy!” I love that–they were not afraid to express joy in their faith.
But there also was a sense or reverence and awe among these believers. Acts 2:43 says, “Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles” (nkjv).
What is the fear of the Lord?
It does not mean you should be afraid of God. To fear God means that you have a healthy respect or reverence for Him. Another translation describes it as “a wholesome dread of displeasing God.” In other words, I love God so much that I want to do all I can to keep from displeasing Him.
Look, I am all for relevance. We need to make sense to the people we are reaching. But let’s not lower our standard in order to extend our reach.
Let’s not trade reverence for relevance.
I think for us to seek to live godly lives is very relevant, and very different than what this world has to offer. That’s how we will turn our world upside down, instead of the world turning us upside down.
Copyright © 2009 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org.
Finding Hope in the Last Words of Jesus
"For me one of the most intriguing and fascinating elements of the Easter story are the words that Jesus said as he was hanging on the cross for our sins. These seven profound statements are His last words . . . and contain some of the deepest theology and most meaningful statements in the Bible."
Finding Hope in the Last Words of Jesus, Greg Laurie’s latest book, examines each of Jesus’ seven statements from the cross, and reveals Christ’s humanity, His sovereignty, and why we can trust God with our lives.