Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 21, 2016
Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. Revelation 15:4
I had two types of high school football coaches: the first I was afraid of because of his tirades and his angry, intimidating language. I was motivated for a short time, but fearful I would not do precisely what he wanted. The second coach expected a high standard of performance, but he was both instructional and inspirational. I knew I had room for failure but my goal was growth. My perception of one coach was an angry man who expected perfection and was never totally pleased with me. The second coach brought out the best in me—and expected the best from me.
The fear of the Lord is fundamental to finding wisdom. Without awe of the Almighty, there is no access to His insight. Where reverence for His holiness is void, there is lack of understanding in the ways of God. The first step in acquiring wisdom from almighty God is to fear Him (Proverbs 9:10). There is a worship of the Lord’s majesty and a dread of His judgment. Once a healthy fear of the Lord has been embraced, the result is peace and knowledge in submission to and love for the Holy One.
“Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands.” (Psalm 112:1, NLT).
If you are driven by guilt or shame or feel the need for perfect behavior to be accepted by God, you will always believe you fall short and that the Lord is probably not pleased with you. But if you see your heavenly Father’s love and holiness as a refuge in a world of chaos and confusion, you will learn to rest in Christ and learn from Him. You fear God by fearing the consequences of sin, but you freely receive His forgiveness when you do sin. Fear of the Lord draws you closer to the Lord.
The fear of God is the pathway to freely worship and praise God. Those who have experienced salvation in Jesus—rescued from the wrath of the Almighty—have a holy cheerfulness they lift to the Lord in gratitude and thankful praise. Joy in Jesus is the language of heartfelt worship. The more we fear the Lord in His holiness, the more we are free to love and worship Him for who He is—our heavenly Father, the Maker of heaven and earth. Hell has no fury, nor flames of fear—for those who fear God, but are not afraid!
“Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11, NLT).
PrayerHeavenly Father, teach me to fear You in reverent awe, but not be afraid of Your loving presence.
ApplicationWhat does it mean for me to fear God, but not be afraid of God?
Related ReadingPsalm 96:9; Proverbs 14:26, 19:23; Nehemiah 1:11; Revelation 14:7
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