Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Fear of The Lord - part 2

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Last Sunday I ministered on the Fear of the Lord in Reverence. To the one who places faith in God, what does it mean to fear the Lord? The fear of the Lord in reverential and worshipful obedience is the beginning of wisdom ( Proverbs 9:10 ). The reverential fear of the Lord begins with a proper knowledge of Who God is: the incomprehensible Soverign who created all things for His glory and demands worship from all His creation. God can never be put in a box, categorized or classified. He is infinitely Transcendent and totally set apart in essence than anything that has been made. In His creation of the magnificently large universe, He shows that He is only something like it, for He holds the worlds in the palm of His hands. The nations are as a drop in a bucket, and Heaven is His throne and the earth is His footstool. The God of the Christian is infinitely and eternally wise, holy, good, merciful, kind and loving, and yet He is a God of justice, a God of wrath to those who resent and reject Him, and He will not let the guilty go unpunished. His grace is incomprehensible, enduring forever and He is a God who is the essence and source of all Holiness and in His courts the doorposts shake violently because of the greatness of His power. While realizing He is all these things and much much more, this is not enough to just have the proper thoughts about God, because the Bible says in James 2:19 that the even the demons believe that there is One God and tremble. We must praise Him, glorify Him, savor and rejoice in Him for all that He is and worship Him with our entire beings. Many lives in the Bible have encountered the Almighty and fell as dead in His presence, hiding their faces and trembling before the Creator of the universe like a leaf in the wind , while rising up from His presence radically changed and empowered by His glory and effectual call.

While we all may not have experienced the physical manfestation of God's glory in a burning bush or miraculous vision of His throne room, that same power of His presence is present in the conversion of a sinner. The regeneration of the Holy Spirit, the gift of repentance and faith, and the newness of life in Christ is one of the greatest displays of God's glory and His grace.
Jeremiah 32:40 tells us that in the new covenant, the covenant that God makes with His sheep through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, He will put the fear of Him in their hearts...why? so they will not, shall not, and never desire to depart from Him. The fear of the Lord makes one wise because it causes one to 1) see themselves for who they really are: sinners in the eyes of a wrathful God, who demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son to die in our place.(Romans 5:8) 2) Love the Lord, reverence and obey Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength...with everything and all of who we are. 3) The fear of the Lord causes us to depart and turn from evil and turn twoards Him ( Proverbs 3:7; 8:13; 10:27 14:27 )(thereby repeating point #2)
The fear of the Lord and the Knowledge of Him is not some "old -fashioned Grandfather's religion"..its much more...its life, wisdom, satisfaction in Him and even God Himself looks to the one who fears Him (Isa 66:1-2) . Notice the Lord doesent look to the one who "has the most wealth, or has the most need, or is the most confident and perfect in all his ways"...who does the Infinite, Transcendent Creator of the Universe, who created all things by His word, look to? The one who is poor and contrite in spirit...who trembles at His word.

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