Fear God, Not Humans

Luke 12:2-3 ESV

“In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.’”

Leaven (yeast), figuratively speaking, is the spreading influence of what is typically concealed. It is generally a symbol of the spreading nature of evil. And hypocrisy is pretending to be someone or something we are not. It is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform, does not match up. We are to guard our hearts against the spreading influence of pretending to be what we are not.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we should be people of integrity and of honesty and purity. We should be who we say we are, and no fakery. What we say we should mean. We should not even tell what some people call “white lies,” which are usually lies they tell people to make them feel good. But a lie is still a lie no matter what color you give it. Now we don’t need to be obtuse, just blurting out everything we think. We should be kind, but still honest.

My family are jokers and teasers. And it is hard not to get caught up in that when I am with them. But I’ve been working on it for some time, with the Lord’s help, because I want always to be a person who says what I mean and who does not say what I don’t mean, even if just in jest. A lot of people use humor and sarcasm as a way to say what they really mean, to give hidden messages, but to cloak it with humor. We should not do that.

Lies can be very subtle, and sometimes they are learned as a way to deal with certain situations, and so if we have been trained in lying or in cloaking the truth with humor or of giving hidden messages to people, not in honesty and forthrightness, then we need to seek the Lord’s face, in truth, and ask for his wisdom and power to break these generational habits and learned responses to situations so that we now walk with complete integrity.

But this goes way beyond just generational learned responses to certain situations. This has to do with deliberate and habitual lying and fakery and pretending to be what and who we are not in order to give people a false impression, and yes, to cover up hidden and secretive sins, too. We must guard our hearts and minds against all lying, and all fakery, and all putting on a performance to make others think something is true that is not true.

And then, when it says here that nothing is now covered that won’t be revealed, I think of the day and times in which we now live, in the technology age, to where everything we say, if we own smart phones, in particular, can be heard by a robot or whatever through our phones. For we can be talking about something and then on our smart phones, on the internet, we will immediately receive an ad for what we just said.

As long as we choose to live in this generation of technology, which I must do to do the work God has called me to do, we have no such thing anymore as privacy, and yes, our conversations which we speak in private are, at least in part, being overheard by our electronic devices, and perhaps even recorded, and thus they could, in reality, be proclaimed where all can hear. So we should be aware of this and we should guard what we say always.

Luke 12:4-7 ESV

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

Now, this sounds like a sudden and drastic change of subject, and it could be, or it could be tied into the previous section of verses. For I believe he was telling his disciples not to fear the Pharisees or their power and influence. And the Pharisees, in general, were party to Jesus being falsely arrested, given a mock trial, beaten, and then hung on a cross to die, and Jesus certainly knew this in advance.

But the point is that we are not to fear what other humans might do to us or say about us. We are to fear God. We are to take our Lord and his Word seriously and believe what his Word teaches us, and not live as though he did not say the things that he said. For Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of the Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21-23).

And Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of the name of Jesus we die to sin and to self, and we now live to him and to his righteousness, then we have eternal life in him (Luke 9:23-26; cf. 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 6:1-23).

So, we need to take this seriously. We cannot just make a profession of faith in Christ and then assume all our sins are forgiven and we are on our way to heaven regardless of how we live our lives. For if we walk according to the flesh, and if sin is our practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God, regardless of what faith we have professed with our lips.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

‘Til The Storm Passes By

By Thomas Mosie Lister

In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face
While the storm howls above me, and there’s no hiding place
‘Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry
Keep me safe till the storm passes by

Many times Satan whispered
There is no use to try
For there’s no end of sorrow, there’s no hope by and by
But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I’ll rise
Where the storms never darken the skies

Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by

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