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Sobering Words! - Luke 12:4-5
Then Jesus said to the people, "I tell you, my friends, don't be afraid of people. People can kill the body, but after that they can do nothing more to hurt you. I will show you the One to fear. You should fear him (God) who has the power to kill you and also to throw you into hell. Yes, he is the One you should fear." (ERV) Full Text
Most of us, me included, much prefer to speak about God's grace, love, and mercy. Every-once-in-awhile, however, we hit one of those "shake you to the core" passages that remind us of God's holiness and our sinfulness. God doesn't want to punish or condemn us. Jesus is proof of that. But, he is the creator and he has paid an enormous price to bring us back to himself after our rebellion. When we ignore his grace, mercy, and love we are choosing disaster and judgment. God's grace, mercy, and love is revealed and offered to us in Jesus. To reject Jesus is to reject God and his grace, mercy, and love. It is to choose judgment and condemnation. In a Gospel so focused on God's desire to save all people from all walks of life, this warning should be taken seriously. Jesus wants us to know that what we decide about him and do with his life and teachings means everything for us eternally.
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Today's Verses in Context
Many thousands of people came together. There were so many people that they were stepping on each other. Before Jesus spoke to the people, he said to his followers, "Be careful of the yeast of the Pharisees. I mean that they are hypocrites. Everything that is hidden will be shown. Everything that is secret will be made known. The things you say in the dark (secretly) will be told in the light (openly). The things you whisper in a private room will be shouted from the top of the house." Then Jesus said to the people, "I tell you, my friends, don't be afraid of people. People can kill the body, but after that they can do nothing more to hurt you. I will show you the One to fear. You should fear him (God) who has the power to kill you and also to throw you into hell. Yes, he is the One you should fear. "When birds are sold, five small birds cost only two pennies. But God does not forget any of them. Yes, God even knows how many hairs you have on your head. Don't be afraid. You are worth much more than many birds. "I tell you, if any person stands before other people and is willing to say that he believes in me, then I will say that person belongs to me. I will say this before the angels of God. But if any person stands before people and says he does not believe in me, then I will say that person does not belong to me. I will say this before the angels of God. "If a person says something against the Son of Man, he can be forgiven. But a person that says bad things against (refuses to accept) the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. "When men bring you into the synagogues before the leaders and other important men, don't worry about what you will say. At that time the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say."
Luke 12:1-12 (ERV)
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