Today’s Guest Blogger is Emily Duffey. Emily is Administrative Assistant at RGCC, and is currently a counselor in training. 

I’ve been reading my
Bible for the better part of 17 years. I have read every one of the 66 books in
the Bible. I can quote parts of it. I’m currently memorizing the book of James.
I love the Word of God—it is a balm to my weary soul. It cuts me up. It lays my
heart bear. Nothing else speaks to my heart the way God’s Word speaks. I love
the book of James—it is the New Testament book of wisdom (like Proverbs in the
Old Testament). One verse in particular, though, has been weighing heavily on
my heart and mind as of late.
(James 3:1 NASB) – Let not many of you become teachers, my
brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

This verse started
running through my mind while I looked over the theological exam I am working
on for certification as a biblical counselor. The exam itself is
straightforward enough—yet still I paused. I picked up my Bible, and looked at
it, and asked myself one question: Do I know this book? Can I teach the
precepts of God to another person, counsel another believer in a way to help
them see who God is? I used to teach in a formal classroom setting—I know what
it takes to be a teacher. However, this kind of teaching isn’t the same as
teaching a language, or history, or math. If you make a mistake in a
translation for a foreign language, you lose a few points on your exam—no big
deal, really. To apply this same kind of thinking to the very Word of God,
however, is not only foolish—it is potentially damning. The consequences are
eternal.
Martin Luther is one of
my favorite historical figures. I cannot say I agree with his theology 100%,
but the man had a reverence for God I have longed to have in my personal life.
His initial interaction with God was based on law—fear of a vengeful God. Over
time, he came to understand the grace of God. The grace of God, however, gave
even more reverence in this man. He understood something about God that many of
us miss. When you understand the wrath of God upon sin and the sinner (Psalm
7:11), the mercy and grace of God become so much
sweeter. It should illicit a response of worship.
It should also give
you pause to consider the God whom you serve. When you teach another about Him,
are you careful to present and represent the God of Scripture? Would God recognize
the counsel you are giving in His name as His truth? You are not there to
merely dispense with pleasantries and feel good-isms. You are there to present
His truth. God is the One who works on a person’s heart—make sure you are
sharing His truth and not your opinion!
I read passages such as these
from Psalm 8: “When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon
and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of
him, and the son of man that you care for him? . . . O LORD, our Lord, how
majestic is your name in all the earth!” (vv. 3–4, 11) 
The same God who created
the heavens and the earth created me, knows me by name, has searched me and
known me, knows my thoughts, protects me, loves me– Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain
to it
(Psalm 139:6)! This is the God you represent—the nations are as a
drop in a bucket, yet He knows His own by name. He is just, righteous, and
true. And we are here to worship. “The chief end of man is to worship God and
enjoy Him forever.” (Westminster Catechism)
(1 Chronicles 16:25-34
NASB) – [25] For great is the LORD, and
greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods. [26] For all the
gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. [27] Splendor and
majesty are before Him, Strength and joy are in His place. [28] Ascribe to the
LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. [29]
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before
Him; Worship the LORD in holy array. [30] Tremble
before Him, all the earth
; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will
not be moved. [31] Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; And let
them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” [32] Let the sea roar,
and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. [33] Then the
trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD; For He is coming to
judge the earth. [34] O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His
lovingkindness is everlasting.

When you come face to
face with God, what else CAN you do but tremble in holy fear and reverence? 
Spend some time reading through Psalm 139 and Isaiah 40—in these passages you
read of the Majesty and greatness—and the compassion and mercy—of God. Truly,
come before God—and tremble. It’s good for the soul.

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