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Friday, January 14, 2011

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Hebrews 4:1-5, 11
Psalm 78:3-4, 6-8
Mark 2:1-12

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"whom should i fear?" (ps 27:1)

"We ought to be fearful of disobeying lest any one of you be judged to have lost his chance of entering." —Hebrews 4:1

Most of us are afraid of what other people think of us. We may be afraid of failure, death, or pain. Because of our fears, we sometimes let ourselves be manipulated into disobeying God. However, we should be more fearful of disobeying God than of enduring even the worst sufferings. God is not to be trifled with. "Make no mistake about it, no one makes a fool of God!" (Gal 6:7) "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb 10:31). "Do not fear those who deprive the body of life but cannot destroy the soul. Rather, fear Him Who can destroy both body and soul in Gehenna" (Mt 10:28).

Although we should obey God because of love and not just fear, we still should be fearful that the Lord will finally let us get the full wages of our sins, that is, death and eternal damnation (Rm 6:23). The fear of the Lord is not just a reasonable reaction to the possibility of damnation. It is also an awe and deep awareness of God's presence. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Is 11:2-3). As the early Church did, we should be "making steady progress in the fear of the Lord" and at the same time enjoying "the increased consolation of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 9:31). "He who fears the Lord is never alarmed, never afraid" (Sir 34:14).

Prayer:  Father, gift me with the fear of You.

Promise:  "When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralyzed man, 'My Son, your sins are forgiven.' " —Mk 2:5

Praise:  Edward was able to discern his calling to the priesthood by observing the holiness of his uncle who was a longtime, faithful priest in the service of God's people.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(Do you have time, treasure, or talent from God? Are you looking for a way to thank Him for it? Presentation Ministries has many ways for you to express your love and thanks to the Lord. Call 937-587-5464 or 513-373-2397 to find out the ways you can serve.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010

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