Again, thanks go to my wife Jill, who sent this out in her “thoughts for the day”. It explains, better than I, what this site is about.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.” Psalm 111:10
The “fear of the Lord” is a major biblical theme in both testaments. It is the key to long life, wisdom, prosperity, knowledge, and happiness. It is the single most important quality a father can hand down to his children.
Two other Old Testament verses clarify what it is: (1) It is an attitude of the heart. “Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!” (Deuteronomy 5:29). (2) It is a choice. “They hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord” (Proverbs 1:29).
What is the fear of the Lord? It is the personal choice of respectful love that makes you want to do the things that please Him. It is not cringing fear. That’s respect without love. It’s also not irreverent flippancy. That can be love without respect.
The fear of the Lord is not the opposite of love. It’s what real love is all about. It is the basis of a healthy relationship with God. When I choose to fear the Lord, I am choosing out of respect and love to do the things that please Him. All that I do in my life comes back to this.
Fearing God means taking Him seriously. That’s why the fear of the Lord is where holiness begins. In a world where most people take God lightly, anyone who takes God seriously will stand out as different, separate, distinct. That’s what the word holy means.
What are the marks of those who take God seriously? They avoid evil, have a tender conscience, are eager to know what pleases God, and guard against temptation.
This answers so many questions: What made the saints of old stand strong in the face of persecution, suffering, and torture? They feared God more than they feared man. What makes a man refuse a bribe? He takes God seriously. What makes a businessman refuse a promotion that would take him away from his family? He takes God seriously. What gives teenagers the courage to just say no? They take God seriously. What makes a young couple decide to become foster parents? They take God seriously. What is that makes a fellow get up early to read the Bible and pray? Nothing more than this: He takes God seriously.
Here is the truth in one sentence: Holy living is motivated by a godly fear that does not take lightly what was purchased at so great a cost.