I haven't yet mentioned the book of the month for May & June here on the blog. Shame on me! It is really good! Read it in the morning and you will be sitting down to breakfast better than Hank's Place. Read it in the evening and you can skip dessert!
There are a lot of choice morsels to share, but I'll just whet your appetite with this one (pp 159-160, emphasis added):
If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, the fear of man is the beginning of folly. Let's all admit, that is a real problem among us. We are always performing, hoping for applause. Then we can consider ourselves successful; then we can feel good about our lives. We even perform in front of ourselves, in the theater of our own minds. We are constantly going onstage to guild emotional capital from human applause and attention. But it's all false. What if people find out what frauds we really are? Here's our manmade religion. Our god is human approval. Our heaven is the spotlight. Our hell is bad reviews. Our ritual of worship is keeping up appearances. We have the wrong fear. And that wrong fear is the beginning, the entry point, the thin edge of the wedge for folly. Living a lie hollows us out. We end up so insecure, we flee when no one is even pursuing us--always fugitives, never settled and at peace.
To fear the Lord means his opinion is the only one that finally matters to our hearts. And he promises his approval through Christ. The gospel puts Christ onstage and says to us, "His performance is your review. You can stop posing. You can stop fearing exposure. You can stop looking back over your shoulder and worrying about the sins of yesterday. You can know for certain today that goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life, because of Christ." If you fear the Lord enough to let that gospel satisfy you, you will be bold and confident and valiant as a lion, like Christ himself.
If you want to digest it together with some others, you can join the Proverbs Sunday School class (at 9am in room 152) that Greg Baumann and Vito DeMaio are team-teaching for the summer. If you are a woman, read up now and plan to join other Bethel ladies on Thursday evening, August 9, to discuss the book.