Welcome to the footnote¹ blog. Our goal each day is to examine a verse and give a short summary in commentary form or simply an encouraging note to help you remain faithful to God throughout the week. Either way we hope that the footnote¹ blog will comfort you through God's word and give you a better understanding of His will.
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10.28, ESV)
This author truly understands the fear created by evildoers and criminals, and more specifically, terrorism. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit has given us comfort through His word. In Matthew 10.28, Jesus reminds us that we should not fear those who can kill the body. Why? Simply put, because they cannot kill the soul. It is comforting to know that no matter what happens to us in this life – up to and including death – our soul cannot be affected. Therefore, what is there to fear from man?
In fact, God has promised, “‘…I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Heb. 13.5-6). Elsewhere, the Holy Spirit said, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8.35-39) Once again, the faithful have nothing to fear because the faithless can do nothing to our soul.
Whom, then, shall we fear? Jesus said, “…fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” If we live for unrighteousness here and now, we will experience true fear on the day of judgment. However, if we live for righteousness, there is nothing to fear. John taught, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4.15-18).
Whom do you fear? If you’re a faithful Christian you have nothing to fear – whether you are facing an earthly threat or the judgment seat of Christ.
“...then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Deut. 6.12)
We live in a world that has forgotten our Creator. No wonder He forewarned us not to forget about Him (Deut. 6.10-19). While there are several reasons for this, consider the following two scenarios.
Scenario #1: Dinner must be cooked, the baby is screaming, kids have homework and practice, dad is grumpy from a long day at work. Everyone is tired. Everyone is ready to stop for the day. Sometimes it is never-ending. It’s time to relax.
Scenario #2: Life is great – no complaints. Everything is working in our favor. A recent promotion at work means big bucks, which is going to make life even easier.
Surely we can see how easy it is to forget about God in these two scenarios. We are either too busy or too blessed or both.
Fortunately, there are things in the Christian’s life that help keep God on our minds. A few of these things include the local church, the Lord’s Supper, our brethren, the Bible, the creation around us, and even pain and suffering.
Just imagine if our life was not full of pain, suffering, and affliction. Remember scenario #2? Would we ever look to God? Oftentimes wealth and an abundance of blessings harden our hearts (Matt. 19.16-26) where we cannot love God with all our heart (Matt. 22.37). David said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word” (Psalm 119.67). Solomon wrote, “Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God” (Prov. 30.7-9). See also Deut. 8.11-14. Like them, we too can forget what God has done for us.
Interestingly, when we forget God, especially as His children, we are testing Him. Read Deut. 6.16. How did the Israelites tempt God? By forgetting what the Lord had done for them and then requiring Him to prove His care for them! Read Exo. 17.1-7. After all God had accomplished they asked, “Is the Lord among us or not?” Additionally, when we forget God, we slowly but surely begin to neglect His commandments (Deut. 6.17; cf. 4.23; 8.11, 19). This causes us to go astray and practice all kinds of unrighteousness (see Romans 1). How often do we imitate these people? No wonder our Father is provoked with us at times.
Have you forgotten your Creator? When life is busy eliminate the unnecessary things that hinder our minds from focusing on God. When we are abundantly blessed look to God for thanksgiving. When we are suffering look to God for deliverance.
“Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.” (Act 2:36)
This statement by Peter to the multitude of Jews assembled on that Pentecost had a huge impact on them. Its significance is frequently lost on readers today.
God had made Jesus "both Lord and Christ". Just look at the number of times "Lord" is used in the Old Testament. These people understood that Jesus being made "Lord" meant He was indeed God. He was the Ruler, the leader, the Master. He was the fulfillment of all the prophecies on which their hopes were based.
And "Christ". This was the greek word for the Old Testament "Messiah", the Promised One of God, the Leader of God's people, the King of the Jews.
And they had killed Him! The Hope of Israel. The Promise of God. And their reply could only be, "What shall we do!"
Even though they had killed God's chosen and sent Son, hope remained. "Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." Acts 2:38-39
Can we help you obey the gospel? Contact Bryan Garlock today! Evangelist@txkchurch.com | Message us on Facebook | Call/text: 903.308.4905
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16.18, ESV)
Pride is a dangerous thing. It causes us to have an envious mindset, to think higher of ourselves than we ought to (as if we are superior to others), to refuse to forgive or to ask for forgiveness, to play the victim when confronted with our sins, to be unwilling to be corrected (even to the point of ridiculing the person offering the correction), or to refuse to obey the gospel (a prideful man sees no reason to obey or ask for forgiveness).
There is nothing wrong with being proud of or taking pride in your work and your accomplishments. There should be a sense of healthy respect for yourself in how you behave, dress, and fulfill your duties. However, if we put our deeds on display to be seen by others, we have lost the battle to the “pride of life” offered by Satan (1 John 2.15-17).
Solomon tells us that there are seven things God hates, one of which is “a proud look” (Prov. 6.16-19, KJV) or “haughty eyes” (ESV). This is commonly known as “pride”. If God hates those who have an unhealthy and high opinion of oneself, we can be sure that destruction will follow.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6.46, ESV)
In comparison with Jesus’ word above, let us also notice Jesus’ words elsewhere: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7.21) and “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15.8-9).
The religious world says we can be divided, we can practice a false religion, we can continue in sin, we can neglect to go to worship God, and we can choose to not be truly devoted to Him. However, as long as we claim “Christ as Lord” and occasionally tell people that we are “followers of Christ” or “believe in God” that we are “righteous” and heaven-bound. This is far from the truth. Jesus refutes these claims by teaching that we must not only call Him “Lord,” but fully trust and submit to His will in faithful obedience.
Are you one of the many who claims allegiance to Christ, and yet, upon honest examination of your life you know that your heart is far from Him? Let us help you learn about Christ and what it means to truly follow Him. Contact Bryan Garlock | Message us on Facebook | Call/text 903.308.4905