February 2, 2016

THE FEAR OF GOD FREES YOU FROM FEAR

Matthew 10:24–42

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24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant1 above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign2 those of his household.

Have No Fear

26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 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.3 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?4 And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Not Peace, but a Sword

34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Rewards

40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person's reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Footnotes

[1] 10:24 Or bondservant; also verse 25
[2] 10:25 Greek lacks will they malign
[3] 10:28 Greek Gehenna
[4] 10:29 Greek assarion, Roman copper coin (Latin quadrans) worth about 1/16 of a denarius (which was a day's wage for a laborer)

THE FEAR OF GOD FREES YOU FROM FEAR



Key Verse | Matthew 10:28

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)

Bio | Samuel Scott

Howdy! My name is Samuel Scott, and I have been a Dallasite my whole life. Despite growing up in a city where 78% of people identify themselves as Christian, I did not hear the gospel clearly until I was 21 years old. Since then, God has given me the desire to make His saving power known among all the nations. I believe that starts right here in Dallas, my home, and I hope you'll join me in boldly bearing witness to God's name.

Central Truth

Following Jesus Christ will lead to persecution. But because we have a reverent fear of God, we have no reason to be afraid of man. God loves us and takes care of us like a good father takes care of his children.

Devotional | Matthew 10:24–42

I'll start by confessing that my life is not 100% fear-free.Like many people, I can get caught up in the fear of rejection, the fear of the future, and various insecurities. As long as I live, my sinful mind and flesh...

I'll start by confessing that my life is not 100% fear-free. Like many people, I can get caught up in the fear of rejection, the fear of the future, and various insecurities. As long as I live, my sinful mind and flesh will tell me that I'm on my own. And if I look at the world around me, it would seem that there are plenty of things worthy of fear: ISIS, economic collapse, and snakes (just to name a few).

This is problematic because Jesus commands me not to be afraid three times in six verses. He commands me to "have no fear of them" (Matthew 10:26), to "not fear" (10:28), and to "[f]ear not" (10:31). It's especially difficult for me to have no fear when Jesus says that His disciples should expect to be persecuted as He was (10:24-25)!

The key to obeying Jesus' command to have no fear is found in Matthew 10:28b: "Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Jesus tells me to conquer my fears with fear.

The fear of God is different from the fear of heights, clowns, and public speaking. The reason is that God is the only one who can impact my eternity, a matter that is infinitely more important than this life. Where I spend eternity is all that will matter ten trillion years from now. If I am assured of my salvation through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, then I have nothing to fear. After all, dying is the worst thing that can happen to me in this life. But death for the believer means the beginning of eternity in paradise with Christ! This is the outlook that gave Paul the courage he wrote about in Philippians 1:19-23.

What does the fear of God look like? It's the kind of reverential fear that drives me to my knees in awe of, and humble gratitude for, His love, grace, mercy, and power. Then it reminds me that if God cares for the lowly sparrow, He especially cares for His beloved children (Matthew 10:29-31). Armed with this confidence, I speak in the light and praise God's name from the housetops (Matthew 10:27).

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Discussion Questions

1. What are some things that you are afraid of or that make you insecure?

2. Do you fear God? Why or why not?

3. What would a life with zero fear look like for you?

4. Do you believe that God has the power and/or the will to make your response to question #3 above a reality?

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