The Fear Of The Lord And The Love Of The Lord
Contributed by Stephen Belokur on Feb 23, 2018 (message contributor)
Summary: The Lord is to be feared, especially by those who are in rebellion against Him. However, the fear of the Lord seems to be absent from many churches. Is that spiritually healthy?
Please open your Bibles to Mark 4:35-41 which we will read in a few minutes.
This past week I saw a video of a comedienne ridiculing a devout, born again Christian and she was saying,
“I am Christian, I love Jesus, but he thinks Jesus tells him to say things.”
So, setting her slander aside, I was wondering, is she really a Christian?
Does she really love Jesus?
I watched just the beginning of one of her comedy videos and within a few seconds of starting out she was using extremely vulgar language.
Then I watched a video of her being interviewed by a priest where she declared that she is an agnostic, that she does not read the Bible and that she never prays to anyone!
The obvious questions are:
Does she even really understand what a Christian is?
Does she really love Jesus or even know Him?
And, finally, does she not have ANY fear of the Lord?
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read Mark 4:35-41
Mark 4:41 NIV
“They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!’”
Mark 4:41 YLT
“And they feared a great fear, and said one to another, ‘Who, then, is this, that even the wind and the sea do obey Him?’”
OK. I don’t know about you but being able to control the atmosphere of the earth and the waves of a huge lake takes with just your words takes a type of power I know nothing about!
At this time the disciples pretty much only thinking that they have been following a rabbi. Yes, they have seen Jesus do some amazing miracles and they’ve heard Him teach and argue with some Pharisees, but, this is a whole new level.
Matthew 8:27, “The [disciples] were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of Man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!’”
Luke 8:27 says it this way, “In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him.’”
“They were terrified … they feared a great fear” (Fear squared …)
Fear of the Lord; is that a concept missing in the church today?
I don’t know how many of us actually read church signs or even our own church sign, but, this week when I changed the sign I put, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” on one side and, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” on the other side.
Fear and love. We don’t really like that fear thing but we sure do love the love thing!
Fear. We don’t like fear and we don’t like to be frightened, do we?
I mean, real fear where a person feels endangered with harm or even death.
Not just some horror movie that is over in a couple of hours and then you go to bed and have nightmares.
On one hand we don’t like to think about actually fearing the Lord, do we?
But we clearly see the instruction to fear the Lord in the Bible.
On the other hand, we also see Scriptures telling us to love the Lord.
Matthew 22:37-38 NIV (recite from memory)
Can we actually fear the God we love and love the God we fear? Isn’t fear bad?
Doesn’t the Bible say that, “Perfect love drives out fear?”
Let’s try looking at this from a parenting perspective …
Suppose a child has parents who demand obedience and any disobedience, no matter how slight, is severely punished. And, then after the punishment there is no teaching, no reconciliation, no affection of any kind; just the threat of more punishment.
This type of parenting would instill fear and rebellion.
What would the chances be of the child growing into a normal adult and becoming a good parent? The chances would be poor at best.
On the other hand, suppose a child has parents who never correct or punish in any way whatsoever. Whenever the child does anything wrong there are no consequences whatsoever. And, if anyone is hurt by the actions of the child excuses are made for the child. This, of course, is all done in the name of love, because, we all want to be loving parents, right?
So, this would be a false form of love with no responsibility or consequences for actions at all.
What would the chances be of the child growing into a normal adult?
The child would have no fear or respect for authority and would feel entitled to act in any way that would please themselves.
But, what if the child was raised with parents who established boundaries for the child and those boundaries taught respect for authority and respect for others? And, what if that child was appropriately punished for any disobedience and then after the punishment they were given affirmation of love and instructed how they should obey in the future and at the same time being informed that more disobedience would result in more punishment.