Acknowledge God

Matthew 10:26:28-33 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

As I drove down a straight wooded road, there about 30ft in front of me, I watched a cardinal fly across the street.  It’s path looked a little sporadic, and so I fixed my gaze on it. It flew in sort of a loop. Then right at the top, it stopped mid-air and dropped straight to the ground. I knew it was gone, but it was so graceful. I also knew it didn’t fall outside the Father’s care.

A few months ago, Covid swept through our family. By God’s grace, those of us who got sick emerged on the other side after a week of fever, body aches and cold symptoms. The same week though, we witnessed through friends, the death of 4 of their friends from Covid. One husband lost his 18yr old daughter, dying suddenly, then a few days later his wife slipped away in a coma. Another dad lost his life, leaving his wife and 8 young children behind. So tragic. They have all been in our prayers. 

There are many intimate moments in life, to be witnessed between loved ones. Births, sicknesses and deaths. When they hit close to home, God reminds us that these tribulations are the birthing pains of the great tribulation to come before the return of our Savior, Jesus. 

Many years of modern living seems to have given the western world a false perception of control over life. But have we ever really had that control? The fearful reaction to a worldwide pandemic seems to highlight the actual lack of control over our lives. 

The sovereignty over life, breath and death has always been the LORD’s. He is the giver of such precious gifts, lives and moments. He is the One who loves us more than we can ever imagine. How can we doubt Him even when uncertain times arise?

God gives us life, and provides our daily needs as today’s verse reminds us. We can be encouraged to trust that no one falls outside the care of our loving Father. God is just. He handles our souls with care, giving each of us the knowledge of a Creator, and places the longing for eternity on our hearts. (Romans 1:20, Ecclesiastes 3:11)

That longing of every heart can only be filled by right relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. (Romans 10:17) So, let us take part in His great saving work of sharing His gospel. Let’s acknowledge God before others! 

Let’s look at the context of today’s verse. In chapter 9, Jesus had just declared to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” In chapter 10, Jesus instructing His twelve disciples, as He sent them out “as sheep among wolves” (Matthew 10:16). Today’s passage admonishes us not to be afraid of people, but to acknowledge Him before others, and to do so for fear of God who can destroy both soul and body in hell. It’s a dangerous job (by the worlds standards) to be in the frontlines of the gospel. We are to love God more than comfort, more than family, more than our own lives. for what can mere mortals do to us! (Psalm 118:6, Hebrews 13:6) What a mysteriously glorious privilege that we get to be a part in God’s great rescue plan!

Heavenly Father, You care greatly for each person made in Your image, and want none to be lost. You care for us even more than the animals, which You tend so lovingly. Let those who trust in You, fear not, because of Your great love for us. For if we loose our lives defending the gospel, we loose nothing but have only You to gain and You are our great reward! We are secure in Your love, for You have redeemed us by Your blood. So, let us not fear even death, but speak of You and your gospel by which You save all who believe. Freely we have received from you, enable us to freely give. ~Amen

Other verses: 1 John 4:18, Matthew 10:8, 2 Peter 3:9, Ephesians 1:7,13, Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24-25