Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fear of God or Love of Power?

For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. 2 Corinthians 5: 10-11 NRSV

Well, if there were ever a scripture that was behind the terrifying "evangelistic" question: "If you died tonight would you go to heaven or hell?" this is it. Paul is in the process of defending himself and heading toward bringing reconciliation to the church at Corinth. Here is admitting that he too will have to stand before God's throne for judgment for his actions. He knows that the fear of God will keep him in the straight and narrow. He also hopes that the church members see this in him and know him well enough to know that he is trying to meet God's standards.

Paul admits that he stands within the fear of God and that is his motivation to reach others for Christ. His motivation is very admirable. Too many times I find church leaders being motivated by selfish and ungodly posturing. So many times I see church members and church pastors caught up in the power game. They do things in order to keep their power over others in the church intact.

What if they did things out of the fear of God rather than wanting to be in control? I think that many things in the church would change for the better.

What motivates you within the church? Fear of God or love of power?

God, we often love the power we receive as church leaders. Forgive us, we pray. Amen.

Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims

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