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Ron Writes

“The church…. going on in the fear of the Lord” (Acts 9:31). A phrase we don’t hear too often any more is “he was a God-fearing man” or “she was a God-fearing woman.” What ever happened to fearing God?
The unbeliever has a different idea of fear than a believer. Living outside the will of God should be terrifying. For those rebelling against God, Hebrews says there is “a terrifying expectation of judgement” (10:27). It would be foolish to not fear God. “For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). Hebrews reminds us that “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (10:31). Judgement and eternal separation from God should terrify everyone.
For Christians the fear of God doesn’t mean that we’re scared of God, but we have a deep reverence for Him. We understand that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7). We have learned that the will of God is good and perfect (Rom. 12:2). God hates sin. Sin destroys. God sent His Son to redeem us from sin. We understand the love and mercy of God and that “perfect love casts out fear” (1 Jn. 4:18), yet out of a fearful reverence toward God we strive to live sinless lives. Sin troubles us.
It's been said that the purpose of preaching is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” In Acts 9, the verse quoted first above says “the church…. going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.” In Scripture fear and comfort can go together. A reverence for God greatly impacts the way we live. Fear of God causes us to take sin seriously, but it also leads us to a fuller knowledge of God that brings us comfort.