Tag Archives: fear God

(Deuteronomy 10) It’s For Your Own Good

Some people have said Christianity has too many rules. Yet these same people will follow a long list of rules every time they get behind the wheel of a car, when they want to keep their jobs, when they commit themselves in marriage to someone, or when they pay taxes, choose not to steal, murder, or destroy property.

I’m very glad people follow rules when I’m on the road. I feel safer knowing people are following rules in my neighborhood. It’s less stressful knowing I can trust someone who is following a set of rules. Rules are in place to make life better, safer, happier.

That being said, the reality is Christianity is NOT merely a list of do’s and don’ts. In fact, Moses tells us in 10:12, there are really only three things God requires of us:

  1. Fear God. Yes, we need to fear God who punishes disobedience without mercy. Moses said we fear, (that word could also be translated “respect,” or “honor”) God when we “walk in His ways.” That means obeying His Laws, of course. If you read the Ten Commandments, you’ll have to admit it’s nearly impossible to perfectly obey them all, all the time. Yet that’s what God demands. Now, here’s the amazing thing about God: knowing we are powerless in and of ourselves to obey His list of rules, He GIVES us the ability to obey. When we accept His grace, the forgiveness of sin Jesus bought for us on the cross, He fills us with Himself and gives us the means to obey Him. We are not at all on our own in this!
  2. Love Him. When you love someone you want to be near them, talk to them, talk about them. You make choices based on your love of them. God wants us to love Him like that. And honestly, once you get to know Him, that’s the easiest thing in the world to do!
  3. Worship the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. That kind of worship is an emptying of self, an offering of ourselves as a sacrifice to God. It’s laying our health, our family, our present and future at His feet in humble recognition that He is Holy God, Almighty, King of Kings, Creator God, and that He is worthy of our worship.

Now, why did God set down these requirements? Look at verse 13:

Keep the Lord’s commands and statutes I am giving you today, for your own good.

A right relationship with God, rooted in fear, love, and true worship not only honors God, it blesses us beyond imagination.

Follow these three rules. It’s for your own good.

July 28; Trusting The One We Fear

Nahum; 2 Kings 23:1-28; 2 Chronicles 35:1-19

Nahum reminds us that God is to be feared… and trusted. Feared because His judgment is harsh and inflexible. Trusted because He never places judgment on anyone who doesn’t deserve it. What is sin for you is sin for me.

And the wages of sin is death. He’s pretty upfront about that.

But here’s what else Nahum says about God: He is slow to anger.

“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” (1:7)

Yes, God protects His honor and holiness with jealous zeal. Yes, there are devastating consequences for those who don’t play by His rules. But don’t get stuck there. Because the same jealous and avenging God took on Himself His own wrath, His own death penalty so you and I wouldn’t have to.

You might think God isn’t fair, and you would be right. It wasn’t fair that Jesus took your sins to the cross. He never committed even one sin. Yet our Savior endured the cross, didn’t give a second thought about the shame – for love of you!

Yes, the Creator God, Almighty, All-knowing, Eternal and Holy, is a God to be feared. You can look at Jesus’ death on the cross and get an idea how serious God is about sin, and what it cost His Son to take the punishment you deserve.

Look at the cross. That should be you up there. If that doesn’t make you fearful, I don’t know what will.

Then look into the face of your Savior, and know He can be trusted:

If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. (I John 1:9; emphasis mine)

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24; emphasis mine)

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were STILL SINNERS, Christ died for us(Romans 5:8; emphasis mine)

We have reason to fear God. And we have every reason to trust the One we fear, when we are His children through the blood of Jesus.

April 9 – I Am Afraid

I Samuel 9-12

There are some things I am afraid of. I’m afraid of guns. I’m afraid of policemen. I am afraid of dogs. I’m afraid of water. I’m afraid of falling off a cliff.

But I love to shoot. My nephew, whom I love, is a cop. We’ve got several dogs in our family. I swim, and I go boating. And I love exploring nature in all terrains.

My fears effect how I live. But it doesn’t stop me from living. My fear of guns has me treat them carefully, and aim them purposefully at the target, because I know a bullet shot in the wrong direction can kill. My fear of cops has me driving the speed limit, because I know that they have the authority to ticket me. I don’t approach a snarling dog because I know a bite from a dog will hurt, but I pet dogs with wagging tails. I wear a life jacket, and don’t swim in the ocean alone or in a storm, because I don’t want to drown. And I never run up to the brink of a cliff, because a fall could kill me.

My fears make me aware of the danger and cause me to respect those things I fear.

I Samuel 12:24 tells us to fear the Lord “for consider the great things he has done for you.”

Do I fear God? Absolutely! He is Holy. He is a fierce Judge. He is Almighty Creator. I’ve read in Scripture what He thinks about sin. And I believe Him when He says sinners go to hell.

But does my fear of God keep me from loving Him, from spending time with Him every day, from trusting Him. Absolutely NOT!

There are many places in the Bible that tell us not to fear. But I can’t find anywhere where it says not to fear God. Don’t fear the future. Don’t fear Satan. Don’t fear what man can do to us. But I think the Bible clearly warns us that God is someone to be feared.

And loved. And trusted. And respected. God wants us to live life, to enjoy His creation, to walk boldly and share the Gospel. But I think it’s pretty clear that we need to have that healthy fear of Him who is our Judge, who demands holiness of us.

My fear of God effects how I live. It makes me aware of the penalty of disobeying Him, and causes me to respect Him and His Word. But it also gives me the awareness of just how amazing is my walk with Him. This God who is to be feared loves me. He gave Himself for me. He is my constant companion, my strength, my very life.