The Fear of the Lord

Three Frogs on a Log

Three frogs sat on a log. Two of them decided to jump off – how many are left? One? NO! Three! You can decide anything you want, but until you act on that decision, nothing happens! (Think of how many people make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, but nothing happens!) So, if you have made noble decisions, even resolutions – what are you doing about them??

Oh, Lord – Please!

On New Year’s Day I put out our flag with the hope and prayer that by this time next year, we will still have the United States of America instead of the Divided States of China and the UN! Jesus is The Way – The Truth – The Life! He is our only hope! Please earnestly pray for massive spiritual awakening.

The Fear of the Lord

Throughout Scripture – both Old Testament and New Testament – the fear of the Lord is primarily to be an awesome reverence for His Holiness, but for the unbelievers, as well as for disobedient children of our Father (Who is both loving and austere), the fear of the Lord can also be awesome reverence for His wrath! Consider these pertinent portions of Scripture:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7; “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10; “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-11; “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:26-31; “You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?… Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:4-7, 11 (NKJV)

Opinion Corner

When it comes to boycotts against China and war/peace negotiations with Russia, America needs a man of God with the courage and wisdom of Daniel! When it comes to world leader Marxists, Joe Biden appears to be the puny kid on the block. The Chinese and Russian negotiators may simply view Biden as a senile simpleton who is merely a puppet on a string. When I think of Biden standing up to Russia and China, my mental picture is a tiny Chihuahua yapping at a snarling Doberman and Bull Mastiff. If you have a different opinion, you are welcome to send it to me. Bottom line – please earnestly pray for Almighty God to intervene! Also, for Biden and his cohorts to repent and be converted.  (Note: I choose to exercise my freedom of speech to express my opinion – but I will not attempt to force you to accept it.  Please exercise that same grace with me.)

Lessons From a Yoyo!

  1. You don’t need to stay wound up-tight all the time!
  2. What goes down can come up.
  3. You can learn from a yoyo – but you don’t need to be one.

Remember that Almighty God can even use a basket case! Remember Moses! Remember that when evil is raging like Pharoah against Israelite babies, Herod against Bethlehem toddlers and babies, the Biden administration against unborn babies – God is still on His throne, and He has a plan, which probably will be in saving some of those babies to raise up to be world changers!

Witnessing for Jesus

On Rejoice Radio I heard the story of an elderly lady named Sophie who loved Jesus so much that she talked about Him to everyone who would hold still and listen. Mockers accused her of talking to a wooden Indian about Jesus. She replied, “My eyesight is not so good anymore, so maybe I did talk to a wooden Indian, but that isn’t so bad as being a wooden Christian who never talks to anyone about Jesus!” Sophie reminds me of Shairia, an elderly former Muslim in Crimea who talked to everyone she could about Jesus. So, if Simferopol, Crimea had a wooden Indian, Shairia may have witnessed to him about Jesus!

As we reflect on this, here are two questions to consider:

  1. What on earth am I doing for Heaven’s sake?  2. Lord, what would You have me to do?

“It’s Not My Fault! I was Just Obeying Orders!”

Isn’t it a fact that after WWII the Nazi soldiers didn’t get by with this excuse at the Nuremburg Trials for participating in atrocities against human beings? I’m normally very supportive of police officers, our military troops, and national guard, but now I’m wondering what these guys are going to do when they are ordered to put down the concerned parents who dare to speak up at school board meetings in defense of their children because our Marxist government officials have labeled them “domestic terrorists.” Will he (or she) have the character, the conviction, the compassion, and the courage to disobey a warped command given by corrupt government officials? Does history actually repeat itself over and over?

Are you wondering about God’s Word concerning obeying the law? Are you wondering: “What would Jesus do”? Let’s consider, What did Jesus do? The law of the land of Israel was the Law of Moses. Jesus obeyed perfectly the Law of Moses – which was the law of the land of Israel – but He disregarded the man-made laws (traditions of the elders) in spite of their outrage. In fact, He not only disregarded and broke their man-made laws, He also exposed their hypocrisy and corrupt motives in the process. Do we, who are Christ followers, have the conviction and courage to follow “in His steps”? The Bill of Rights with our Constitution is our basic law of the land. Our Constitution specifies that laws are to be hammered out in Congress – which is the “legislative branch.” The whimsical, flip flop orders of mandates from government officials and government paid doctors are not the law of the land! Our Constitution has never ordained for a tyrant to be the uncontested ruler of our Homeland. Like Pharoah and Herod, he seems obsessed with murdering babies. Isn’t this something we should earnestly consider and pray about?

Good-by! Hello!

Old year/New year

The old we leave without a tear.

The new we greet without a fear!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Trust the past to God’s mercy

Trust the present to God’s love

Trust the future to God’s providence

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21 (NKJV)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

Time to Remember

Remember: Time is life! So, killing time is slow suicide. Each of us is given the same number of minutes each day – are you using them to God’s glory”? Is there someone you need to thank – and intend to? Remember – dead noses smell no roses!

Of highest importance to remember in view of the fleeting nature of our time on this earth are these Biblical admonitions:

Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” Amos 4:12 (NKJV)

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1 (NKJV)

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?… Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Hebrews 2:1-4; 3:12-15 (NKJV)

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 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.” Hebrews 4:12-13 (NKJV)

Remember to get self out of God’s way! “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)

“I’ve seen men too big for God to use, but I’ve never seen one too small for Him to use!” ~ Adrian Rogers “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.” Proverbs 16:19-20 (NKJV) “When our Lord Jesus Christ comes again, 777 will take care of eliminating 666!” ~ Adrian Rogers

You can waste time – even years or decades in the pursuit of happiness in all the wrong places and end up in a basket of broken dreams – or trust in the Lord and get happiness as a byproduct!

From Our Mailbox

“Beloved brothers and sisters,

Thank you very much for your care, support, and prayers! With great joy, I present you the Christian Center for Science and Apologetics 2021 November and December newsletter.

No doubt it was a year of wonders! Hard to believe how many answers to the prayers we got in such a short time! After seven years of silence, we were able to sell our property in Crimea (house, office, training center) within a couple of months! The funds were safely passed to the mainland. We got an excellent building for Eurasian Apologetics Center headquarters, practically completed its indoor renovation, and moved in successfully right before the first snowfall. May the Lord be praised!

The outdoor renovation is postponed till the spring. Please join our prayers about the resources for it as well as for the early warmth.

However, this is not the end of the story, as the year was extremely fruitful in many other ways. The Eurasian Apologetics Society movement grew like never before. About 80 new members sign up every month, and the total number is close to 2000 now. 65 new persons subscribe to our YouTube channel monthly. We printed 10 new books, including one by the national author, as well as arranged about 20+ training courses and seminars despite the quarantine restrictions. Users from 128 countries visited our website. Oh yes! May the Lord be praised!

Despite the ado around the renovation completion and moving the stuff and paraphernalia to the new place, the two last months of the year were all about intensive teaching and training. Most of it was done in the hybrid format that allowed us to combine meeting the quarantine restrictions and the dynamics of actual in-class fellowship. Some low-risk students were present in class, while the rest followed online.

Most of the training took place as a retreat at the Ukrainian Evangelical Seminary campus. We had interesting seminars on the New Testament historical veracity, the biblical view of evil and suffering in the world, historical ideas shaping modern thinking, and harmonization of the Gospels’ resurrection accounts. As usual, the most interactive part of the retreat was a round table fellowship, where everyone was free to ask or share on the most burning issues of the ministry and church life. All the events were video recorded, and a media version of the seminars will be issued eventually. Please keep this production in your prayers.

Among other events were the church ministries, the Theology of Marriage seminar at the School of Family retreat at Voronkiv, Biblical Anthropology master course at the Ezra Academy. I was thrilled to learn that Ezra Academy is starting a library ministry with a small collection of the best books for shaping one’s worldview. And you know what? About half of the collection is our publications! Isn’t this a great sign of recognition as well as encouragement? May the Lord be praised!

I feel uncomfortable that most of the pictures in our newsletters have my face, like if I do all this work myself. Actually, I am honored to be a clapper in that bell. But the bell, not the clapper, spreads the message. All these fruits are the outcome of the great team of coworkers and volunteers who do all the job of content development, media production, translations, editing, planning, management, logistics, finances, etc. As well as this is the result of your faithful care, prayers, and support. We are so thankful to be together with you as a part of this glorious work of the Lord! While this year of wonders is coming to an end, more wonders are waiting ahead! And all of them are just a shadow of the good things that are coming!

Please keep praying for our ministry, team, families, finances, and God’s guidance and protection in everything we do. You are in our prayers as well.

Yours in the love and grace of Christ Jesus, Sergei”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Dear Rick & Della,

Even though we’re not able to travel for our ministries, I know the needs are still great. God bless you for touching so many through your gifts and prayers. Have a blessed Christmas!

Joyfully,

Cousin Coral and Dave”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Rick,

Once again – thank you ever so much for the recordings that you so kindly send. To be able to listen to those sermons and messages is certainly a blessing.

I am returning the DVD that you sent. While I do appreciate your thoughtfulness in sending it – I have no way of playing it. So maybe there is someone else who could benefit from it.

I do hope that you and Della have a most blessed and meaningful celebration of the Birth of my Beloved Lord Jesus.

Thank you again. Ken”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here are some great insights from a devotional thought by Jonathan Cahn:

“What will the new year bring? Will it be a year of darkness? If so, we have something greater. We have the Light of the world. And He called us each to be lights in the world. Light doesn’t fear the darkness or the darkness of future days – the darkness only allows the light to shine brighter. Enter this year with confidence. Don’t focus on what the year will bring – but on what you will bring into it. For you are the light of God. Shine your light into darkness. Light up the year. Light up the world! And May God greatly bless you this month as you do!

Your brother and co-laborer in His love and service, Jonathan” (Hope of the World, Sapphires, December 2021)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It takes just one candle

to spread a ray of light,

to split the darkness with its flame

and quell the black of night.

It takes just one whisper

to speak to God in prayer,

to draw near to His presence

and find peace and comfort there.

It takes just one Savior

to save the world in need,

A holy God wrapped in flesh

to heal, to guide, to lead…

It takes just one candle

to spark the memory

of the night the Light of heaven

came to change our lives with love.

Warmest Christmas Blessings

to you and those you love.

~ Jim and Mary Hodge

Prayer Requests

  1. Please pray for quick healing and total recovery for Stephen Yagilnicky and children. Here is a copy of the email we received the morning of January 4: “Dear Friends…please pray for us/our family as we have Covid in our home. My daughter and I have a strong infection. The boys have milder cases and Iryna is doing ok…she is carrying for us all 24/7. Please pray for her. In His Grace, Stephen”
  2. Stephen & Iryna are founders of Love Cradle Inc. and are in USA for a while. When Stephen and their kids get well, we hope they can come to visit us and that we can set up some speaking appointments. Please pray! (Stephen already has speaking appointments in Minnesota and Montana.)
  3. I do believe that Russia is a grave threat to Ukraine, and that the suffering in the war zone has already been terrible. I also believe that both NATO and the LGBTQ corruption of western Europe are threats to Ukraine. It looks like America is not the only country between a Rock and a hard place! Maybe God also has Ukraine exactly where He wants her. Let’s earnestly pray that Ukrainians will choose the Rock of Ages! Let’s pray for massive spiritual awakening in both Ukraine and America!
  4. The real and present danger for USA is far more from Communist China than Russia both externally and internally. The biggest, most dangerous threats to America are:
    1. Traitors internally pushing the cult of Marxism in every possible way.
    2. Arrogant self-sufficiency that assumes that we can handle this without trusting completely in intervention by Almighty God.
    3. Apathy and negligence of the conditions for spiritual awakening and the healing of a nation which God clarified to Israel in 2 Chronicles 7:14 – ‘if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.’ (NKJV)
    4. Compromises with cultural corruption in the churches of America and neglect of obedience to the Great Commandment and Great Commission. Earnest prayer is our most urgent need!
    5. Ignorance and apathy toward Islam.
  5. Over the past few years, the persecution of Christians in India by the Hindu president and radical Hindu groups has increased exponentially. However, parallel to the persecution is exponential growth of the number and effectivity of bi-vocational church planters sharing the gospel. David Witt, founder of Spirit of Martyrdom, has a new book about this entitled God’s Global Grace Movement (Hope Rising from an Awakening in India. Some of what I read in this moving report reminds me of the Cane Ridge Revival in the early 1800’s in America. You can access this book digitally through Spirit of Martyrdom links: : PDF (1.66M), Mobi (Kindle) (1.13M), ePub (Nook) (1.09M). Also, if you prefer a print copy and live in USA, you can write to us for a gift book.

Della’s Page         

I was reading in the Psalms a few days ago, and when I read Psalm 60 (a psalm of David), these words seemed so sad! 

“You have rejected us, O God, and broken our defenses.

You have been angry with us, now restore us to your favor.

You have shaken our land and split it open.

Seal the cracks before it completely collapses.”               

                                              Psalm 60:1-2 (NLT)

But doesn’t this fit what has happened in America?  So many have completely ignored God and turned their own ways to lives that have dishonored Him and His invitation to a joy-filled life of walking with Him.  Couldn’t we apply the above words from Psalm 60 when praying for our beloved America!”  Let’s ask Him to restore us to His favor and seal the cracks before it completely collapses!   

I found a note on my desk today that I had written previously. “God, show me how I can share your love in creative and innovative ways.”  As I read it, I thought of a gentleman at Wal-Mart on New Year’s Eve, who changed my attitude by an act of kindness.  When I came into the store a short time before to quickly (I hoped) pick up a couple of items I needed for New Year’s Day, I saw a very long line of people, waiting to pay for their purchases.  I looked around at the other check-outs and they were not much better.  Then I remembered that there was one “Express” lane, so I hurried over there.  There were only three or four customers ahead of me.  However, the man right in front of me had a very full basket – so I resigned myself to being there for a while after all.  Just a few moments later, the man in front of me turned around and said, “I think I am in the wrong lane – please, go ahead of me!”  I thanked him and gladly accepted his offer!  After I had paid for my purchase, I turned back to thank him again.  He smiled and said, “Happy New Year!”  As I hurried out of the store, I was thinking, “Wow! There actually are a few kind and considerate people left!” 

Another incident that happened just yesterday, reminded me once again what a difference even a small act of thoughtfulness can make!  A couple of our dear friends are very good at thinking of kind things to do for others.  I have had a bad cold for about three days, and I was staying at home trying to rest and get to feeling like doing something/anything!  They brought me a bright balloon with the words, “Get Well” on it!  That made me think again about what a difference kindness can make! 

How much can we change the attitude of others by small deeds of thoughtfulness?  I want to start looking for ways to do that!  How about even to those who irritate us by their aggressive driving or those who are rude and think only of themselves?   Let’s remember the words of Jesus: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  (John 13:35 (NKJV).  Will you join me in singing praise to our Awesome God and showing His love to others?                                                                                                          

                    “All my life You have been faithful

And all my life You have been so, so good

With every breath that I am able

 Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God.”

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