Friday, June 6, 2014

a creative tension

The Word for today:
Acts 9:32-42
mark this: Acts 9:31
Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
Fear and comfort don't seem to go together. The scripture above, on a logical level, seems to make no sense, because we think that "fear" and "comfort" are mutually exclusive: where fear is, comfort is not; where comfort is, fear is not.
But they do go together. Look at the last part of that scripture: they were multiplied.
Whatever is going on, it works. The result of walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit is that there was a healthy, growing, vital, vibrant church.
Early believers rejoiced in God's holiness as much as they did in His love. Their balanced view of God allowed them to fear God -- to revere, respect, and, yes, fear Him -- while delighting in Him as well. 
Take a look at today's church from far away-- far enough away so that you can see the forest, not the trees. Do we sing “Amazing Grace” too often and “His Truth is Marching On” too seldom? (Or the other way around?) In our sermons, Bible classes, small groups, and Christian media--is there a balance between the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit?
Scripture maintains a healthy, creative tension between grace and truth. So did the early, thriving church. We're not asked to logically understand it. We're told to emulate it.

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