Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Who Do We Fear?

Matthew 10:26-31

Every now and then a new perspective is helpful.  It helps us to relate better to someone going through a situation, we have more empathy when we change our perspective.  It can also help us to prioritize things because we can see what is more important.  As I am concluding my Only God study, I want to look at what our response should be know that God is our everything.  This week is based on Deuteronomy 10:12, where we learn that we are to fear God, live in a way that pleases Him, and to love and serve Him with all our heart and soul.  I want to look at what Jesus told us about fearing God in Matthew 10:26-31; please read those verses.

It almost seems as if Jesus was showing us a godly perspective on fear.  I've struggled with fear, so I can relate to the need for a new perspective.  Fear can paralyze us and keep us from doing the things we are supposed to be doing.  Was Jesus telling us that we should be cowering in fear from God?  No.  He was giving us a perspective on where our thoughts should be focused on.  We should be respectful of the fact that God is our Creator and He is the one who gives and takes away life.  He is the only One who has the power to make the decision of eternal life or death.  That should be something we keep in mind and have a respectful fear when we think of that.

This respectful fear should surpass our concerns about what the world will do to us because the world cannot give eternal life.  This respectful fear can help us when the task is daunting because we can remember that we are not to be pleasing the world, we are to be pleasing God.  This respectful fear of God should make us want to be made right before Him through Jesus.  It is perspective that can save us because that respectful fear will also help us understand why we need a Savior.

Keep in mind that God is not looking down on us waiting for us to mess up bad enough to wipe us out.  On the contrary, He knows that we've messed up and He has a love for us that is far beyond our ability to comprehend.  His love for us gave us Jesus, who was perfect in sinless yet paid our penalty for our sins and conquered death by rising again.  We just need to remember who God is.

Do you have a respectful fear of God?

This post is linked with On Your Heart Tuesdays.

2 comments:

  1. I think to "fear" God means to be in awe of Him.

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    1. Yes it does. But it is more than just awe...that is why I used the phrase "respectful fear." I stayed away from the word "awe" only because of the casual use it has in our culture. It has lost its impact the way we use it today where this awe is one that is filled with a deep respect of God's power and might. The Hebrew word "yare" means fear with awe as an option, but fear being the dominant meaning. As I wrote earlier, I don't believe this means that God wants us cowering in fear...it is more of an overwhelming understanding that God is all-powerful and holy. So while awe is a secondary meaning of this word, fear is still a large part of the meaning. I think of Isaiah's response when he encountered God in Isaiah 6 - he was in awe mixed with fear because God is holy.

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