Today’s Reflection: Malachi 4:1-6
Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 28:14-29; 1 John 5:1-21
But for all who fear My Name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in his wings. You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall. (Malachi 4:2)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Fear God. Be afraid of Him. Don’t just respect Him or honor Him. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Don’t fear men. Don’t trust in them. Don’t think that you need their approval or praise. Yes, men can hurt you. They can insult you. But the worst that any man can do you is kill you.
God can do far worse to you than kill you! He can leave you in your sins. He can leave you unrepentant and fighting against Him. He can also use your hatred of Him to work good despite you. And when you are done fighting Him and living for yourself, He can give you what you want: a universe without Him. Yes, He can take the whole of you and throw you into the place where the love of God is absent: He can toss you into the hell you deserve. There you will be set ablaze for all eternity—forever apart from the very God who made you.
So repent of your sins. Turn from them out of the fear of the One who can kill both your body and soul. Don’t ask what’s a sin and what’s not a sin, as if you can nudge your toe really close to the line of what’s a sin and be perfectly justified in doing it. Run from evil things and beg God for mercy when you fail.
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise like it’s Easter morning, with healing in His Wings. You will hop out of your graves like a deer leaps from the stall. You will walk away from your sins and truly be free from them. On the day that He acts, death itself will be ashes under your feet.
Jesus feared God in your place and then suffered the hell for the times you didn’t fear God. His death saves you from God Himself. His resurrection is your righteousness before God. In Christ, you truly fear God. In Christ, you trust in Him above all things. In Christ, you completely love Him. Apart from Him, you can do nothing. But in Him, in His fear of God, in His trust of God, in His love for His Father, you fear, love, and trust in God above all things.
Fear God. But that’s not God’s final word. Trust that Jesus has saved you not only from your sins but from God Himself. In Jesus, there’s nothing to be scared of with God. the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Don’t fear the one who can kill your body but cannot touch your soul. Rather, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)