Posts Tagged ‘1 Peter 5:8’

Friday, the 13th and every day: No fear in love

July 13, 2018

Some people have a negative reaction to Friday, the 13th, but believers are encouraged to have no fear.

Today, July 13, 2018, is actually the second “Friday, the 13th” occurring this year. Although some react to this day in an extremely negative way, for Christian believers, however, we thank “God it’s Friday” and every day of the week. Along with the Psalmist, we declare, “This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Indeed, every day is a “Good News Day.”

A previous blog post focused on Friday, the 13th, and examined Scriptures related to fear. Here is an excerpt from that entry:

While not everyone harbors an ungrounded fear of Friday, the 13th, we cannot deny that fear seems to abound during these intense times. We all recognize that fear is a common and natural emotional response to potential danger, but if not properly addressed, it can become a deadly emotion with serious consequences. Excessive fear can become crippling and impact our daily lives in a negative way. Unbridled fear is a toxic emotion that limits and inhibits. Proverbs 29:25 makes this clear:

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

Fear is a tool of the Enemy used as a barrier to stifle our confidence in God, as it attempts to limit our access to the Father’s throne of grace. Satan tries to instill fear in believers in the same way that a ferocious lion roars, seeking to instill fear that paralyzes its victim, described in I Peter 5:8:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

It has been said that fear is the only thing that defeats the promises of God. Pastor Rick Warren describes fear as “. . . a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

The Bible addresses the issue of fear with numerous reminders that as believers we are not to fear. The comforting exhortation to “fear not” or “do not fear” is said to occur 365 times in the Bible, indicating a daily memo from God that we are to have no fear.

We also find great encouragement in Isaiah 41:10, 13:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’

When we encounter stressful situations that cause us to respond in fear, we are encouraged to seek the strength to overcome any obstacle that attempts to block our path to success. Again the Psalmist offers this reminder:

Psalm 34:5

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

In 1 John 4:18 we find the perfect antidote to fear:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates that love, there no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of this “self-imposed prison” from which Christ came to set the captives free.

Many are familiar with the acronym used to define fear: False-Evidence-Appearing-Real, but about five years ago a friend shared a new acronym for fear: Forgetting-Everything-Already-Realized. Many times fear comes into play when situations appear to be turning out in ways we had not expected. Too often we fear that God will not come through for us when we need Him to, and we panic. We forget that God is faithful to His Word, and He always keeps His promises. This phrase inspired the following poem, especially appropriate for Friday, the 13th.

Have No Fear: Remember Love

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear:
because fear involves torment. He who fears
has not been made perfect in love
I John 4:18

Forgetting Everything Already Realized,
Everything God performs He does with excellence.
Already set before us is every promise.
Realized with each sunrise this eternal truth:
Love Overcomes and gives us Victory Every time.
Only believe, knowing love energizes faith.
Victory is ours each time we trust God and believe,
Ever mindful that perfect love casts out all fear.
God cannot love us more and will not love us any less.
May we never forget but always remember:
Despite the storms and fiery trials, we will not fear,
Knowing nothing can separate us from God’s love.

Friday, the 13th, is simply another day to remind us to put on our “no fear gear”; as believers, we walk in the love of God which casts out all fear. We close with a tender reminder from Steffany Gretzinger: “No Fear in Love”:

Perfected love overcomes fear on Friday, the 13th, and every day

January 13, 2017
Friday the 13th

Some people have a negative reaction to Friday, the 13th, but believers are encouraged to have no fear.

As the sun rises on a new day, we celebrate and joyfully declare: “This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Today, the second Friday in December, 2019, actually turns out to be Friday, the 13th, a day that some react to in a negative way. Some even have an abnormal fear of Friday, the 13th, actually expressed in the psychological term paraskevidekatriaphobia. While not everyone harbors an ungrounded fear of Friday, the 13th, we cannot deny that fear seems to abound during the perilous times in which we live. We all recognize that fear is a common and natural emotional response to potential danger, but if not properly addressed, it can become a deadly emotion with serious consequences. Excessive fear can become crippling and impact our daily lives in a negative way.

The Bible addresses the issue of fear with numerous reminders that as believers we are not to fear. This comforting exhortation to “fear not” or “do not fear” occurs 365 times in the Bible, indicating a daily memo from God that we are to have no fear. We could look at each one of these exhortations, not as “The Verse of the Day” but as “A Verse of the Day” for every day. One such passage offering great encouragement during trying times comes from Isaiah 41:10, 13, source of these lyrics:

Do Not Fear

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
For it is I, the LORD your God, who holds your right hand;
It is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.”
“Do not fear, I will help you.”
“Do not fear, I will help you.”

Fear is a tool of the Enemy used as a barrier to stifle our confidence in God, as it attempts to limit our access to the Father’s throne of grace. Satan tries to instill fear in believers in the same way that a ferocious lion roars, seeking to instill fear that paralyzes its victim. We find a similar picture of the ways of our adversary in I Peter 5:8 (AMP):

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

It has been said that fear is the only thing that defeats the promises of God. Pastor Rick Warren describes fear as “. . . a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

A previous blog post on this topic discussed 1 John 4:18 where we find the perfect antidote to fear:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

The Book of 1 John makes known that those who hear the Word of God and keep it, the love of God is “perfected” or made perfect or complete, wanting nothing or brought to maturity in them. To be “perfected” is to be brought to a full end. When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates that love, there no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of this “self-imposed prison” from which Christ came to set the captives free.

I recall learning about the love of God that counteracts fear in a very simple yet profound way. One of the first books that my wife and I used to teach our daughters about our Heavenly Father was My Little Golden Book about God. This was a kind of primer for our daughters who memorized the words and associated them with the illustrations long before they could actually “read.” Some of the most cherished lines were these words that closed out the small book:

“Do not fear. I am here. And I love you, my dear. Close your eyes and sleep tight. For tomorrow will be bright.All is well, dear child. Good night.”

This simple response encourages all children of God to have no fear, for God is ever present, and He continues to say, “And I love you, my dear.”

As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, when we walk in power of God’s love, we will recognize a notable change, not only in our own lives individually, but we will also experience fruitfulness and favor upon our land, even in the midst of famine. The following poem expresses the two-fold blessing that God generates through “Perfected Love”:

Perfected Love

The LORD will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied by them;
I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

Joel 2:19 (NKJV)

Jehovah, creator, author and finisher,
Who initiates to nourish perfected love;
Ever-abiding source and resource, publisher
Of declarations of genuine love to move
The soul of man to return to the place of his first
Love, the Beloved, whose heart overflows to give,
For only this passion can satisfy our thirst,
As You refresh us and teach us how we should live.
You have pledged your love through a sacred covenant.
If we maintain our vows of love, You will sustain
Our souls and feed us so that we shall never want.
You will shower with mercy as the gentle rain
And will bless and multiply the fruit of our land
With “grain, wine, and oil” supplied by Your gracious right hand.

Despite the challenges that confront us as individual believers or collectively as a nation, the Word of God exhorts us to be bold and take courage, not just on Friday, the 13th but every day of our lives. Friday, the 13th, is just another reminder to put on our “no fear gear”, as we walk in the love of God which casts out all fear. We close with the reassuring words of Wintley Phipps, who tells us one more time, “No Need to Fear:”

Call to holy living: Be sober

January 6, 2016

1_Peter_1-13

The Verse of the Day for January 6, 2016 comes from 1 Peter 1:13 (NLT) offered as “A Call to Holy Living”:

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.

Here is the King James Version:

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Amplified Bible (AMP) also offers a powerful rendering of the verse:

13 So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.

Here is verse is graphically illustrated:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2ya8qMJE1Y

The whole idea of living soberly was also mentioned in the recent blog entry for January 3, where the Verse of the Day was taken from Titus 2:11-12 (KJV):

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

The New Living Translation renders the passage thusly:

11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,

In addition to 1 Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 5:8 offers another reason for sobriety:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

One translation of the Greek word verb for “be sober” renders the term: “to be sober, calm and collected, to have good sense, good judgment, wisdom, and level-headed in times of stress.” Altogether, “be sober” is used eight times in the New Testament.

2 Corinthians 5:13

For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

This verse mentions that it doesn’t matter if we are “beside ourselves” or “mad” or “plum out of our minds” or if we are “sober” or “clothed in our right minds” or “of a sound mind”—it is all for the sake of the believers.

Notice that 1 Peter 1:13 also connects the idea of being sober with the hope of the Lord’s return and that is the context for two uses of the verb in 1 Thessalonians, whose focal point is the parousia or gathering together at the return of Christ. Note the exhortation to “be sober” in light of the Hope:

1 Thessalonians 5:6

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Listen to this upbeat contemporary cut of “1 Peter 5:8” from Allen Swoope’s album The Zoo, offering another reminder to “be sober.”

Be sober in light of the Hope

January 6, 2015

The Verse of the Day for January 6, 2015 comes from 1 Peter 1:13 (KJV):

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Amplified Bible (AMP) also offers a powerful rendering of the verse:

13 So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.

Here the verse is graphically illustrated:

This particular verse was also mentioned in the blog entry for January 3, 2015 where the Verse of the Day was taken from Titus 2:11-12 (KJV):

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

The New Living Translation renders the passage in this way:

11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,

In addition to 1 Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 5:8 offers another reason for sobriety:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

One translation of the Greek word verb for “be sober” renders the term: “to be sober, calm and collected, to have good sense, good judgment, wisdom, and level-headed in times of stress.”

2 Corinthians 5:13

For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

This verse mentions that it doesn’t matter if we are “beside ourselves” or “mad” or “plum out of our minds” or if we are “sober” or “clothed in our right minds” or “of a sound mind”—it is all for the sake of the believers.

We notice that 1 Peter 1:13 connects the idea of being sober with the hope of the Lord’s return which is also the context for two uses of the verb in 1 Thessalonians, whose focal point is the parousia or gathering together at the return of Christ. Note the exhortation to “be sober” in light of the Hope:

1 Thessalonians 5:6

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Altogether, “be sober” is used eight times in the New Testament.

Listen to this upbeat contemporary cut of “1 Peter 5:8” from Allen Swoope’s album The Zoo, another reminder to “be sober.”

Do not fear but trust

October 2, 2014

Proverbs-29--25

The Verse of the Day for October 2, 2014 was the inspiration for the following blog entry which was originally posted a year ago. This entry provided a powerful reminder of the negative consequence of fear, and it has been modified and re-posted below:

Listen to Proverbs 29:25 read in five different versions:

Proverbs 29:25 is rendered in the Amplified Bible in this way:

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.

Fear is a tool of the Enemy used as a barrier to stifle our confidence in God, as it attempts to limit our access to the Father’s throne of grace. Satan tries to instill fear in believers in the same way that a ferocious lion roars, seeking to instill fear that paralyzes its victim. We find a similar picture of the ways of our adversary in I Peter 5:8:

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. [Amplified Bible]

It has been said that fear is the only thing that defeats the promises of God. Pastor Rick Warren describes fear           as “. . . a self-imposed prison.” His comment was the inspiration, in part, for the following poem:

Self-imposed Prison

“Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you

from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

Rick Warren

 

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear,

because fear involves torment. But he who fears

has not been made perfect in love.

I John 4:18

 

This self-imposed prison, not made with bars of steel,

Nor formed with bricks, yet each subtly constructed wall

Restricts the mind, scars the soul and cripples the will

And impounds us to a state of constant free fall.

Held captive by past mistakes that seek to instill

Fear: this deadly acronym binds, confines the heart,

So disguised as “false evidence appearing real”

Keeps us from being all God intends us to be.

But Christ, our sovereign Lord, pardoned each life sentence,

Commuted penalties, declaring not guilty.

With his blood, having blotted out every offense,

Displayed undying love: key to set captives free.

Pure freedom to serve awaits those with ears to hear,

For perfected love destroys all walls built by fear.

 

The Bible addresses the issue of fear with numerous reminders that as believers we are not to fear. The comforting exhortation to “fear not” or “do not fear” occurs 365 times in the Bible, indicating a daily memo from God that we are to have no fear.

We also find great comfort in Isaiah 41:10, 13 from which the lyrics to another song are taken, offering these words of encouragement:

 Do Not Fear

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

 

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand;

It is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.”

“Do not fear, I will help you.”

“Do not fear, I will help you.”

Here is a recording of the passage from Isaiah 41:

 

The Verse of the Day and other scriptures remind us that fear is a snare that believers should avoid, as they trust in the Lord.

We conclude with Janet Isaac Morrison, who offers a Song of Comfort—“You Don’t Have to Fear.”

 

Be sober, be vigilant

September 9, 2014

Titus_2-2

We begin this day, September 9, 2014, with the Verse of the Day, which is found in Titus 2:2

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

The expression “be sober” is used three times in Titus in relation to four categories of individuals: “older men, older women, young women, and young men:

Verse 3 is directed toward the older women who are instructed to teach the young women to be sober. Clearly, one cannot teach what one does not practice oneself.

Titus 2:4

That they (the aged women) may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

Titus 2:6

Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

To be sober is a strong reminder to everyone, both old and young alike.

The expression is also used elsewhere in the New Testament:

1 Peter 1:13 (KJV):

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Amplified Bible (AMP) also offers a powerful rendering of the verse:

So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.

In addition to 1 Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 5:8 offers another reason for sobriety:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

The expression “be sober” is generally thought of in terms of “do not be drunk” or “don’t get intoxicated.” His graceoasis.com points out that “the word does not mean to abstain from the use of alcohol but rather to refrain from the abuse of it which leads to intoxication.”

Translated from the Greek word nepso, the verb means “to be sober-minded, watchful, and circumspect.” Variations of the verb include ananephō, translated to become sober; eknephō, meaning “to return to one’s sense from drunkenness, become sober” and nēphálios: sober.

One translation of the Greek word renders the term: “to be sober, calm and collected, to have good sense, good judgment, wisdom, and level-headed in times of stress.”

Altogether, “Be sober” is used eight times in the New Testament:

2 Corinthians 5:13

For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

This verse mentions that it doesn’t matter if we are “beside ourselves” or “mad” or “plum out of our minds” or if we are “sober” or “clothed in our right minds” or “of a sound mind”—it is all for the sake of the believers.

We notice that 1 Peter 1:13 connects the idea of being sober with the hope of the Lord’s return which is also the context for two uses of the verb in 1 Thessalonians, whose focal point is the parousia or gathering together at the return of Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:6

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

The Verse of the Day is but one of eight strong exhortations to “be sober.”

Listen to this upbeat contemporary cut of “1 Peter 5:8” from Allen Swoope’s The Zoo.