June / July 2016 - Vol. 86

 the fear of the Lord is the
                            beginning of wisdom
Growing in the Healthy Fear of the Lord 
by Tom Caballes

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! 
- Psalms 111:10 ESV
Many Christians do not understand what it means to fear of the Lord. They think it only means we all should tremble on our knees because of what God can do with us. Although this is partially true, it does not give us a full picture of what it means to fear the Lord. A healthy fear of the Lord is great for us as His disciples. First, it means we are to be awed by His glory and majesty. Our first response to the fear of God is to worship Him. Second, our God is a loving and caring God. Our fear of God should enable us to obey His commandments and walk in His ways, knowing that God’s ways are for our own good. A healthy fear of the Lord keeps us on our toes and makes us vigilant in our daily walk with God. It keeps us aware of the consequences of disobedience to God.

So How Do You Grow in the Healthy Fear of the Lord?

  1. See the glory and majesty of God in all things – when you see the beauty of creation; for God’s providence; for His faithfulness, forgiveness, mercy and grace. Have an attitude of gratitude with God!
  2. Serve Him with gladness. [Psalm 100:2] The King you serve is not just any King – He is the he Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. [Rev 22:13.] He is a one of a kind King. So when you praise and worship Him or serve Him in other means, know just how awesome is your God.
  3. Love His laws. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. [1 John 5:3 ESV] God’s laws are made for our own good. We need to read God’s word, understand them and apply them into our lives. Ask the Holy Spirit to change our rebellious hearts so we can love His laws.
  4. Try to live a righteous life and repent of all your sins. Have a daily examination of conscience. What sin or temptation is deeply ingrained into your life? How do you avoid them?
  5. Accept the discipline of the Lord. Know that He disciplines us for our own good. Our fear of the Lord should allow God to work in areas in our lives that we have difficulty with or we are powerless with.
  6. Do not play with the devil. Do not give you enemy a chance [Ephesians 4:27]. Never give in to the thought – “just this once;” as in, just one fling with this woman [or man]. ‘Just once’ has led many people to troubles and difficulties that they try to undo the rest of their lives. And some things are undoable, especially when they break the bonds of marriages, families and relationships. So say no to ‘just once.’
Other Scripture passages:
  1. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. [Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV]
  2. Teach me your way … that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. [Psalms 86:11]
  3. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others… [2 Corinthians 5:10-11 ESV]
  4. The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honour and life. [Proverbs 22:4 ESV]
  5. Other references: Romans 1:18-32; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; and Hebrews 12:6-7.
For personal reflection or group sharing
  1. Do I have the right and balanced fear of the Lord?
  2. In what area of my life am I being tempted to consider ‘just once?’ Has it got to do with money, possessions, a person of the opposite sex, or something else?
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.

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