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Fears and Respect

April 30, 2017

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Fears and Respect

Years ago I had a Korean friend.     Sometimes on weekends,  we would go  for long walks  as we talked about all sorts of things.     One time  we came upon a cemetery  and he immediately became  very agitated  and wanted to quickly get away  and find a different route  around the lake.

Puzzled,  I had to ask why.    While hurrying away,  he said it is wrong  to walk  or talk  so close  to a burial ground.     Such lack of respect  might anger the spirits  of the dead  and they would be sure  to come  and do us harm  in order to teach us  to have reverence  for those who have passed on  before us.

After we were a distance away,  he explained  that his family  always had proper respect  for the dead.    Cremated ancestral remains  were kept in urns  in a special place of honor  in the home  and rituals  of high respect  were regularly performed,  so that their home  could prosper.     To refuse  to show respect  would surely bring severe punishment,  so he was trained  from early on  to show the proper behavior.

He knew  what the Bible teaches  about those who have passed on  and he believed  that God’s word is truth,  but he could not shake  the superstitious feelings  that were ingrained  within him  during all his growing-up years  —  at least not at that time.     He did continue  to study and grow,  but I don’t know  if he ever became totally free  in Christ  from those superstitions.

The fears we teach our children  have lasting effects.    It’s one thing  to teach children sensible rules  for fire,  hot stoves,  sharp knives,  traffic,  etc.     It’s quite another thing  to make them afraid  of ghosts,  witches,  goblins,  monsters,  or other myths.     They should not be taught superstitions,  like trusting in “good luck” objects  or throwing salt  over one’s shoulder  if salt is accidentally spilled.

Some will argue  that these are just “fun” traditions  that have been handed down  to us  from the time our ancestors believed in the various gods  that were worshiped  before Christianity spread  throughout their homelands.

But,  God,  who created us,  knows every little thing that can ruin our faith,  hope  and love.     If our faith,  hope  and love  for God are ruined,  we are disregarding  our salvation  and are no longer living  in the truth.     We cannot be free  when tied  to superstitions.     Therefore,  in love,  God says  in Deuteronomy 5:7“You shall have no other gods  before Me.”

When we fear,  love,  or trust  in some “thing”  more than we fear,  love,  or trust  in the LORD God,  we are,  in essence,  making that “thing”  a god  to us.   We become bound  to that superstition  —  that lie.

Throughout the Bible,  we learn  that these “other gods”  that God refers to  can include riches,  our own strength  and accomplishments,  rulers,  self-righteousness,  superstitions,  fears,  idolatry,  etc.

When Paul was guiding the newly converted Romans  in the truths  of God’s love  for all of us,  he said  in Romans 12 2“Do not be conformed  to this world,  but be transformed  by the renewing  of your mind,  that you may prove  what the will of God is,  that which is good  and acceptable  and perfect.”

The newly converted Corinthians also needed guidance  in their Christian faith,  so Paul says  in 2 Corinthians 6:16“What agreement  has the temple of God  with idols?     For we are  the temple  of the living God;  just as God said,  ‘I will dwell   in them  and walk among them  and I will be their God,  and they shall be My people.’”

As Christians,  we need to be aware  of everything  that keeps us  and our children from totally trusting  in our Lord  at all times.

2 Peter 2:19 says,  “You are a slave  to whatever controls you.”    Let us not allow ourselves  or our children  to become enslaved  to worthless things.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7,   “These words, which I am commanding you today,  shall be  on your heart.    You shall teach them diligently  to your sons  and shall talk of them  when you sit  in your house  and when you walk  by the way  and when you lie down  and when you rise up.”

In God’s freedom,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD, thank You  for freeing us  from worldly superstitions.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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