We hear so much about the grace and love of God that we forget He is to be feared as well. Yes, He is love. Yes, He gives us grace-- way much more than we deserve. But there is more to Him than just the "good" things. We have reduced God to some "warm, fuzzy" grandfatherly figure who understands and looks over everything we do.
While His compassions fail not and His mercy endures forever, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is not to be taken lightly, casually or flippantly. He is to be feared and revered. He is the same God who defeated the enemy armies of the Israelites in the Old Testament. He is the same God who sent the flood in the day of Noah. Oh, but that was Old Testament. In the New Testament, Ananias and Sapphira died because they lied to the Holy Spirit. Jesus made a whip and ran the moneychangers out of the temple. Paul wrote of the goodness and severity of God. The Lord Himself let us know that those whom He loves He chastens.
A present day minister who had fallen into sin was asked concerning the reason. They asked him when he stopped loving God. His reply was that he never stopped loving God, but he lost the fear of the Lord. I see this very thing happening today. We say we love God, but do we fear Him. The Bible defines the fear of the Lord in Proverbs 8:13- "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."
We don't see much hate of evil- even by those who profess to love Him. Instead, we see the acceptance and embracing of evil. We accept adultery, homosexuality, lying, cheating, immorality, self-centeredness, pride and arrogance. This has become the norm and lifestyle even in the church and among the ministers.
How do we know if we have lost the fear of the Lord? It can be quickly summed up in one verse- "every man did that which was right in his own eyes." (Judges 17:6b) If you are doing what is right in your own eyes; if you are following your own way and own path; if you are "calling the shots"; if you are self-seeking and going after only what you want and what makes you happy with no regard to what the Lord think about it, then you, my friend, do not have the fear of the Lord.
Have a great day. Where is the fear of the Lord today?
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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