Healthy Fear


Moses responded to the people, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear Him and will not sin.”

~Exodus 20:20, CSB


I am a God fearing man who worships God with my heart and my life.

~Willie Stargell

The highest motive for service is love but that is not where we start. God spoke audibly to the Israelites at Sinai and it scared them to death. They begged Moses to intercede in their behalf, they did not want to hear directly from God again. That is when Moses said, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear him and will not sin.” Proverbs 9:10 reads, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. The foundation of our relationship with God is our fear of His person. As we grow and mature, his gracious work of sanctification becomes apparent and we begin to serve and worship Him because we love HIM and want to please HIM. Long before I knew what love was, I feared my parents. It was not a cringing fear but I knew if I did wrong, there were consequences to pay. You may have a different story but there were times when I didn’t like my mother or father but I feared them. Of course I grew up and changed my mind about both. By the time I was an older teenager I realized that my mother was the best friend I had in this world and although Daddy was not that excited when surrendered to preach, he became my most avid supporter. My love for my parents continues to grow. The fear has been totally eclipsed by love.

I could tell you that I am where I am today because I have always loved Jesus with all my heart or that it is because I am a good man but both would be a lie. It was my fear of God and fear of consequences of sin that kept me in line. There were a lot of sins I wanted to commit but I was afraid of the consequences and I have never doubted the consequences. Thank God for my mother and all my Sunday School teachers who forced me to memorize scripture. If you showed up in Irene McGill’s class without knowing your memory verse, you got embarrassed in front of the whole class. I learned a lot of scripture as a child and it paid off big time. David said, “Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” People who have no knowledge of God’s word and no fear of God’s judgment have no fear of consequences. I have literally begged folks to do right in the face of temptation and I have warned them of the consequences but they did not believe me and proceeded with their plans. Now they are living in a hell on earth and have too much pride to admit it.

Jeremy’s sister Amanda Barnett was promoted yesterday evening after a long fight with cancer. I have never known anyone with more determination than Amanda. I truly believe that anyone else would have given up months ago. Amanda suffered a lot. She leaves behind two precious children, a son 12 and a daughter 15. Jeremy’s sister Tammy was her primary care giver and she is to be commended. She stayed by her side around the clock for the past few days. Our prayers go out to Jeremy, Tammy, the children and to Jonathan Amanda’s husband. No arrangements were made when I posted the blog.

I saw my good friend Brian Dill last night at Ty’s game and he shocked me when he said, “Bro. Jack, I read your blog everyday. It is so simple that a redneck can understand it.” Thank you Brian, and you are not a red-neck. You do have tattoos on your arms and neck, nor do you have tobacco in your mouth or beer in your truck. You would have to grow your hair down to your neck and get you a motor cycle to qualify for a red-neck. Hanging out with David Wood does not make you a red-neck. Now if you start running with David Wood and Dwayne Bennich, I may change my opinion. Thank you Brian and thank you all for reading the blog. I hope you have a great weekend.

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