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Serving God because I am fearful?

If you are like me, everyone around you is saying that no one should serve God out of fear – it is all about loving Him because He first loved us.

Yet, maybe, just maybe, if we reflected on our journey – maybe, just maybe, we had a bit of fear that enabled us to begin our journey with Christ.

My dad could “scare” anyone into the kingdom.  He talked up hell and vividly described it that anyone in their right mind would not want to spend eternity there and so they made a decision to say a prayer asking Jesus to accept them so they did not have to go to hell.  So do some Baptist ministers that I know.

Others are afraid of people around them that could hurt them – gangs, violence, bullies, workplace confrontations etc. and so they look upon their worship of God, and the amount of time they spend with Him as a “good luck” charm – keeping evil away.

Others think that God is ready to pounce on them at any moment, taking away blessing or causing pain when they do something wrong.  Unfortunately that is what makes penance so popular.

So I started to try to remember what my experience has been with God.  Am I using Him because I want a free “get out of Hell” card, or is He my lucky charm and I can sleep at nights knowing that I am doing enough worship to guarantee protection, or do I just want to get by in life without getting sucker punched because I messed up on something?

I told you about my dad, so I think that when I was between 12 – 15, there is no doubt that I followed Jesus because I was absolutely scared into heaven.  I mean, for those that remember the movies from MarkIV Productions and Hal Lindsay and David Wilkerson, I think you know what that could do for a teenager.

However, if that is what it took for me to follow Christ, along with some huge arms and fists that belong to my dad who demanded a walk that was pretty intense about manners, values and character, then I accept it.  Each of us begins our journey in a certain way and we all discover a bit more about Jesus as we go along.

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4 thoughts on “Serving God because I am fearful?

  1. I like the “get out of hell free card.” It reminds me of something a minister at my church said. He said, “Don’t be an ‘award show’ Christian: thinking that everything good thing that happens to you comes from God, and you credit Him, but your life shows zero commitment to Him.”

  2. There you go – great message from your minister

  3. andydbrown on said:

    So many Christian leave out the fear of the LORD (which is the beginning of wisdom) in some worldly idea of being a better “public relations officer” for God or something so I appreciate this post. The Bible says “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” and many of us are converted out of this fear only later to serve out of love for Him who first loved us. Like the lyrics of Amazing Grace state, “T’was Grace that taught…my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved.” Thanks for sharing!

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