I’m re-reading the daily gospel devotions by JC Ryle. They are soooo good: powerful, insightful & challenging. I really could blog something from them every day – and maybe one day, when I am more organised & disciplined, I will.
But today’s devotion is worthy of special attention. From one of my most personally significant passages of scripture (Luke 12v5, “Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell“) I’ve reproduced the devotion in its entirety in the attached image, but notable sentences are written beneath.
“The fear of man is one of the greatest obstacles which stand between the soul and heaven.
Thousands would never hesitate a moment to face a lion or charge into battle who dare not face the laughter of relatives neighbours & friends [i.e. pride]
If the fear of man is so powerful in our easy days, what in days when it costs much to follow Christ?
We must supplant the fear of man by a higher and a more powerful principle – the fear of God … The lesser fear must melt before the greater, the weaker before the stronger”
Yet after so strongly exhorting us to fear God & damnation, here’s Jesus’ concluding counterpart …
Luke 12v6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. DON’T BE AFRAID. You are worth more than many sparrows.”
“There is order and design in all the works of God’s hand, from the greatest planet to the least insect, so does the Bible teach us that there is wisdom order and design in all the events of daily life. There is no such thing as chance, luck or accident in the Christian’s journey through this world.”
Lord, deliver me from the snare of the fear of man, from the pride which is at its root. Supplant it with the reverent fear of you, the One who even cares for every sparrow, and how much more you love and care for me.