Reverence and Godly Fear

fear-godHebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 

Reverence is defined as “deep respect for someone or something, awe, downcast eyes in the presence of“. Godly fear is defined as “caution (religiously), reverence (piety), respect, a just view and love of the divine character of God”; Growing up, we loved my dad. He was our hero. He took time from his (very) busy schedule to play ball with us, have activities with us, take us on vacations, have family alter with us, meet our needs as individuals, and much more. He was a great father to us. But as much as we loved him and enjoyed his company, we feared him. When we heard that dad was coming home, we went into “dad’s coming home” mode. We “sat up straight, with our hands on our laps” as dad would say (ok, maybe not literally). We made sure it was clean. We made sure there wasn’t any bickering or feuding amongst the siblings. We shaped up because we feared dad. This doesn’t mean we scared of him. It means we respected and reverenced him. We knew his (high level of) character, and that he expected his house to follow a certain order.

This fear of dad was good for us. It kept us right. It helped us to choose our friends wisely. It helped us to keep things decently and in order. It kept order in the home. I thank God for a dad who loved, but also chastened. I believe that one reason a fear of God or authority is lacking in society, is because there’s lacking of fear of dad in the home. It’s from our earthly parents we learn much of the character of our heavenly Father.

Whether or not we had a good home situation growing up, if we are to serve the Lord acceptably, we must possess a holy fear of God. As we saw earlier, a proper fear of God is understanding His divine character. He is holy. He is just. He is love. And as such, He expects His home (He dwells in us) to be ordered a certain way. For us, dad might have gone away to preach, or to work for a moment. But God never leaves or forsakes us. He’s always there, watching and kn0wing everything we do. Having this understanding will help keep us doing what we ought to do and being what we ought to do. Today, this week, and through our lives, let us develop a holy fear of God.

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