Saturday, June 15, 2013

What is the Fear of the LORD?

The Bible speaks often of the “fear of the LORD” and commends it as the beginning of knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10). But what does it mean to “fear” the LORD? Here is a brief survey of the Old Testament about that:
  • To keep His commands (Deuteronomy 6:2; 17:19; 31:12; Psalm 111:10)
  • To walk in all His ways, love Him, serve Him in sincerity and truth (Deuteronomy 10:12; Joshua 24:14)
  • To praise and worship Him (2 Kings 17:36; Psalm 22;23)
  • To depart from evil (Job 28:28: Proverbs 16:6)
  • To hate evil, including pride and arrogance as well as evil conduct (Proverbs 8:13)
  • To be in awe of Him (Psalm 33:8)
  • To hope and trust in His chesed — the mercy, love and kindness of the LORD (Psalm 33:18)
  • To sanctify the LORD and regard Him as holy (Isaiah 8:13)
  • To come to His goodness (Hosea 3:5)
To live in the fear of the LORD is to live in absolute awe of God and trust Him implicitly, to love what He loves and hate what He hates, to treasure His favor above all things and avoid His displeasure at all costs, to take pleasure in His word, His will, His ways and His works and to honor them in everything you do.

The fear of the LORD is not a terror for those who belong to Him and walk in His ways, only for those who live contrary to Him. I liken it to standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon — it’s a breath-taking view but you want to be careful that you don’t fall in. Or the healthy respect a lineman has for the power of electricity — if he does not work with it carefully, it can kill him.

The phrase, “fear of the Lord,” is found only one time in the New Testament and is coupled with the supernatural comfort that comes from the Holy Spirit: “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied” (Acts 9:31). This privilege belongs to the people of God.

(See also The Fear of the LORD: Experiencing God's Fullness)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Love God. Love People. Don’t Hold Back.

Someone asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus answered, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:36-40).

Allow me to offer this paraphrase:

Love God. Love People. Don’t hold back.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

God My Source

As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in You.” (Psalm 87:7 NIV)
God, You are my source, my never ending supply. Not only the source for my material needs, my food and my finances, the “what shall we eat, what shall we drink, what clothes shall we wear” stuff of life.

More than that, You are the source of my peace, my wholeness, my well-being.

You are the source of my wisdom and my understanding. You are the source of my vision and my dream. You are the source of my inspiration and creativity.

All my fountains are in You. And I give You praise.

Personal Confessions from the Psalms
Personal Confessions from the Psalms
Prayers and Affirmations for a Life of Faith, Happiness and Awe in God
by Jeff Doles

Preview with Amazon’s “Look Inside.”

Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Faith is Relationship

In the Bible, faith is not merely a belief, it is a relationship. It is not how we respond to a proposition; it is how we respond to a person. That person is God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The author of Hebrews says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Notice, the word, “comes.”

It is not enough to believe that God is. The devil believes in God. As James says, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble!” (James 2:19). The demons have a belief about God, but they have no faith in Him.

Faith is not merely believing that God is. Many people believe that but have no faith. Faith is coming to Him. It is in coming to God that we move from a proposition to a person, from a belief to faith, and enter into a relationship with God.

And that makes all the difference.