Bible Reading: Matthew 10:16-33
“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33)
A lot of the time, we fear to express ourselves as Christian to the world. We fear what others will think of us; we fear that we won’t fit in. We might openly express our Christian selves in church or with Christian friends. But, when we get to school or are surrounded by worldly people, we shy away and are scared to be who we are.
Jesus teaches His disciples and us a valuable lesson if we want to follow Him seriously. As Jesus sent His twelve disciples to expand His ministry, He tells them that persecution will be inevitable. There will be governors and kings who will capture Christians. There will be brothers who deliver their own brother to death, fathers to his child, children to their parents. If we choose to follow Christ seriously, Jesus says, “you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).
We have ample reason to be fearful if this happens to us, don’t we?
Yet, Jesus teaches us an important principle. “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known…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 10:26,28).
As Christians, we ought to learn to fix our eyes not towards men but God. He is in control of everything, every circumstance, even the number of hairs on our heads. We are safe in God’s hands. If we are truly His, He has planned out everything to work for our good. Man cannot change God’s plan. No one can foil what God has determined for us. Therefore, there is no need to fear man because man can do nothing out of God’s plan for us.
If that is so, we ought to fear God, not with fear for punishment, but with humble reverence and awe. We ought to willingly submit to our King and prayerfully seek and walk in His will. Everything we do daily should be in a vertical response to God. God calls us to trust Him alone, not our circumstances or those around us. If we walk each step of our lives in obedience to Him, we know that we walk in His will and our lives are safe in His hands. No one can snatch away our portion by God’s side, for that is only God’s to give and God’s to take.
On the contrary, if we have been honoured and given the privilege to walk the narrow path, we ought to worship Him in reverence and with a whole heart. We must continually pray, “keep us from temptation”, lest our sinful nature overcomes us and defiles God’s grace that He has given to us.
Let us all endure to find our identity in Him alone until we are blinded to the glories of the world and honour from men, knowing our worth and honour is defined by one thing alone — Whether God is pleased with us as we walk humbly in His will.
Lord, help us walk each day of our lives only in obedience to You. Strengthen our faith and trust in You. Please help us to trust in You when we are overcome with fear. Help us not to fear but to grow and know that we live in Your plans for us. Teach us to fear You and walk humbly in obedience all our days. In Jesus’ name, amen.