TUESDAY, MAY 18
1 Peter 3:15
2 Corinthians 2:12-17
“…with meekness and fear.”
A HEART IN WHICH GOD IS SANCTIFIED (VII)
Our attitude in giving an answer (continued). Finally, Peter once again mentions “fear” (1 Pet 3:15) as a key component of the attitude we ought to express, if God is sanctified in our hearts. Now Peter has already mentioned the fear of God that must rule in our hearts, but it seems that this “fear,” here, has a slightly different emphasis; and it is linked to the thought of meekness, which we have just considered. We are to be “fearful” as we give an answer, in the sense that we recognise the great responsibility and privilege with which we have been bestowed.
Think for a moment! The almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, has commissioned us as the ambassadors of His glorious kingdom ‒ not angels, beautiful and resplendent, at whose sight men might be expected to quake and tremble; not the best of men, the strongest, the most intelligent, the most capable, the most fearless ‒ but you and I: weak, frail, trembling, doubting, unworthy as we are. We are the ones who are called on to give an answer! Not for ourselves, but on behalf of God. We are the ones who are called on to proclaim the truth of God to the world.
We “give an answer” with “fear,” because we recognise the awesome responsibility and duty of speaking for God. The truths which we speak have the power of life and death: this is spiritual truth that can set people free from the worst kind of bondage. The Apostle Paul certainly acknowledged this burden when he wrote, “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor 2:15-16). Thus it was surely with the same “fear” to which Peter adverts, that Paul goes on to say, “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ” (2 Cor 2:17).
Christian reader, how we ought likewise to tremble, lest by speaking unwisely we bring the truth of God into disrepute; or lest by our failure to stand for the truth, some precious soul may be lost to the enemy!
THOUGHT: There are “many, which corrupt the word of God” ‒ do I?
PRAYER: Help me, Father, to bear the burden of the truth!