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Don't Be Ashamed, Fear of Man, Audience of One, & Whose Fool Are You?

 

By Bart Nelson

 

 

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Ashamed? - No way, be an example

 

1 Tim. 4.12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Rom. 1.16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. This talks about being an example and not being ashamed.  This study started as a message to young people, but really fits and hits us all. No matter who we are, people are likely to look down on us for some reason: age (too young or old), gender (from either side), marital status (married, single, divorced, you name it), race (there's prejudice from any angle), religious beliefs (again, anything can and has been used against someone), socio/economic status (too much or too little), etc. So, regardless of why we're looked down upon, we can follow Paul's advice to Timothy and the ideas given here and overcome what is spoken to be the man or woman GOD has called us to be.

 

We must remember that 1 + God = a majority. As Jonathon put it 1 Sam. 14.6 Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.”

 

Do you remember how you used to look up to people your age? Adults are looking too, to see what you're made of. God looks at the heart, He's not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34 Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality. {THIS WAS SAID IN REFERENCE TO GENTILES RECEIVING HOLY SPIRIT) He is willing and WANTS to use YOU!!

 

Some Biblical examples

·        Joseph Gen 37.5 Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. God Spoke to him in dreams of what he would be someday. He remained faithful tho' sold into slavery and later cast into prison.

·        Jug. 6 -- Gideon -- youngest in his family, yet God chose him to tear down the family idols and lead Israel to defeat their mighty enemy.

·        Samuel -ministered as a priest before the Lord at an early age. Heard God at an early age as well.  Because of this, God "let none of his words fall to the ground". 1 Sam. 2.18, 21, 26 But Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod. And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the Lord. And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men. Read all of ch. 3. vs. 19 So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.

·        1 Sam. 16-17 David anointed as king and ministers musically to Saul. He killed Goliath Psalm 71:5 David's trust in youth, 17 God taught him

·        2 Kin. 5.2-3 And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.” Little maid testifies to God’s healing power and Namaan is healed.

·        2 Chron 26.3-4 3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem. 4 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. Uziah was 16 years old as king did what was right.

·        2 Chron 34.1-4 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images. They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and the incense altars which were above them he cut down; and the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images he broke in pieces, and made dust of them and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. Josiah was king @ 8 years old, sought the Lord, got rid of all the idols and cleaned up the temple!

·        Jer. 1:5-10 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord. Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” As He often did with others, and does with us, God countered all of Jeremiah's objections. Those He doesn't counter, He changes our heart about.

·        Dan. 1.3-6 Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. We know the rest of the story, how God used all 4 of these youths, but we often forget they were but youths!

·        These are all examples of youth being used. But God doesn't leave anyone out. Acts 2.17-18 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. The promise of Holy Spirit movement and actions was for young and old, male and female, servants and masters. Gal. 3.28 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. No one is excluded. Noah, Abraham, Moses were some examples of God using older people.  Deborah, Isaiah's wife, the woman at the well,  the Mary's, Philip's daughters, etc. are some examples of women being used by God. God used Ruth, Timothy, Titus, King Cyrus and many others outside of the nation of Israel.

 

Some modern examples

·        YWAM Kings Kids -- go into communist countries, before kings and queens, all over the world and get an audience to proclaim Jesus, just because they are innocent kids, they wouldn't hurt any one.

·        10 yr, old pastor in Kenya

·        Kids@ revivals praying and miracles occur. Students in a school I taught at prayed for Jason, who had a bad defect in his hips and was healed.

 

What are we going to do about it?

·        Lift up your eyes -Acts 1 & 2 What would you do if you could do anything?  You couldn't fail, $ was no object, what would you do? Dream BIG for God.

·        Ps. 119.9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.

·        Ps 119.98-100 understand more than enemies, old folks, teachers by keeping life according to God's word

·        Ps 148.7 Praise the LORD from the earth. 12 Both young men and women; Old men and children. 13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven.

·        Ps. 8.2 Out of the mouths of babes He has ordained praise and strength Mt. 21.6

·        Pr 4.3-4 children open to God, Mt. 18.1-5

 

What to do? 

·        Be the example to those younger and older           

·        Get a hold of God and what He wants you to do and do it          

·        Pray like crazy for what God has put in your heart to happen -- seek His guidance -- what, how, when, where, who, why

 

Fear of Man

 

Fear of man is one of the greatest obstacles for any one of us in doing God's will. What will they think? Or, even perhaps worse, I know what they think and it's not good! The most important factor in our lives is what God thinks and living to please Him. That's what the next two sections talk about.

 

Dt. 1.17 You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man’s presence, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it.’

 

Josh. 1.3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

Ps. 27.1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident.

 

Ps. 118.6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? 7 The Lord is for me among those who help me; therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me. 8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. 9 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

 

Pr. 29.25 The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

 

Is. 51.7 “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults. 8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation from generation to generation.” 9 “I, even I, am He who comforts you. aho are you that you should be afraid Of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? 12 “I, even I, am He who comforts you. who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? 13 And you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens And laid the foundations of the earth; You have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he has prepared to destroy. and where is the fury of the oppressor?

 

Is. 54.4 “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. 5 For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

           

Jer. 1.7 But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.”

 

Mt. 10.24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! 26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

 

Lk. 12.4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

 

Rom. 8.31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 

We are to get counsel from trusted people in our lives, ones who will not be yes-people, but honest and open, wise and loving. But the bottom line – decisions come from us hearing from God as best we can and moving the direction we believe HE is leading. If we are honestly seeking Him, He won’t let us down or lead us astray. We are to fear the Lord, especially if we choose to not follow Him. We are not to fear what any may says of us, especially if we have heard and are following our Shepherd. Man’s opinion simply does not matter.

 

Audience of ONE

 

That sounds harsh, but it is reality. We live before an audience of ONE and HE is the ONLY ONE who matters! Yes, we are to be at peace with others as much as is possible. Yes, we are to please our neighbor, if possible. But, the bottom line is that we live to please HIM and if that means stepping on some toes at times, that’s the way it goes. Now, we must be careful that we aren’t moving in spite, anger, resentment, rebellion or rejection. It must truly be God, not us, not the work of our flesh, but God. And God isn’t looking for Lone Rangers, He wants us to be inter-dependent. Not independent and not dependent on man, but related and inter-dependent.

 

His has eyes for us only: 2 Chr. 16.9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” Job 34.21-23 For His eyes are on the ways of man, and He sees all his steps.There is no darkness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. For He need not further consider a man, that he should go before God in judgment. Ps. 34.15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.  Pr. 5.21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all his paths.  Pr. 15.3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. Jer. 16.17 For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes. Jer. 32.19 You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings. Heb. 4.13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

 

He is the only one we need to please: Mt. 6.24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Mt. 10.32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. 34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. Lk. 9.26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. Jesus gave us the prime example: Jn.  8.28 Then Jesus said to them,  “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” Rom. 14 .4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. Paul, too, shows us a good example: Gal. 1. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. 1 Thes. 4.1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; 2 Tim. 2.4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.

 

What we are told in these passages that there is only one master to serve. We can't serve ourselves or others, it's got to be God. I love that song by Bob Dylan - "Gotta Serve Somebody", "It may be the devil, it may be the Lord, but ya gotta serve somebody. None of us actually live for ourselves and in reality, there are only two masters in the universe, God or satan. We're going to serve one, which audience do you want watching you?!?!

 

Audience of One - Big Daddy Weave

 

I come on my knees

To lay down before you

Bringing all that I am

Longing only to know you

Seeking your face

And not only your hand

I find you embracing me

Just as I am

 

And I lift these songs to You and You alone

As I sing to You in my praises make Your home

 

To my audience of one

You are Father and You are Son

As Your Spirit flows free

Let it find within me

A heart that beats to praise You

And now just to know You more

Has become my great reward

To see Your kingdom come

And Your will be done

I only desire to be Yours, Lord

 

So what could I bring

To honor Your majesty

What song could I sing

To impress the heart of royalty

When all that I have

Is the life that You've given me

So Lord let me live for You

This song with humility

 

And Lord as the love song of my life is played

I have one desire to bring glory to Your name

 

©2001 Open Worship Music Inc.

 

 

I'm a Fool For Jesus,

Whose Fool Are You?

 


When you consider what Solomon in Proverbs and Jesus in Matthew said about fools, you might be ready to throw this booklet (or computer screen) at me! To call some one a fool is really serious business. But check out what Paul says: 1 Cor 1.18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

 

1 Cor. 2.14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 

1 Cor. 3.18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours:

 

1 Cor. 4.10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!

 

The principles in these verses are clear. We can be wise according to the world, even the church, and totally miss God and His ways.  Jesus even rejoiced that the Father had chosen to reveal Himself to children and to the simple. By choosing God and His ways, we WILL appear foolish to the world and organized religion. The choice is ours. Who do we want to please, who do we want to look good to?