Big debates often rage about the relationship between the fear of the Lord and New Testament believers.
We are told that the concept belongs only to Old Testament times when the people did not know the intimacy and love made available to us in Christ. But this is not the case. Although we do have a greater appreciation of God’s love as Jesus has revealed it to us, this should intensify our fear of the Lord and not diminish it. Our verse today shows that because we do have these great promises of our heavenly Father’s love and acceptance we should all the more cleanse ourselves from the things that displease the Lord and have a holy regard for him in every detail of our lives.
The fear of the Lord will lead you to cleanse your life from all that displeases him. The greater the sense of intimacy you have with the Lord, the greater will be your intolerance of sin in your life.
Dear Lord, thank you that you are my Father and that you hold me close to you. Help me to turn away from the things that offend you and that keep me from enjoying closeness with you.
The fear of the Lord extends to every area of your life – private as well as public. Many times we will behave one way when others are watching us but another way entirely when we are alone or when we think no-one is watching. That is not the fear of the Lord which calls for consistency in all things. God’s eyes are on us all the time and if we disregard this fact, then we show we are more afraid of being embarrassed before men than are of offending the Lord.