In the last post we established God’s power and authority as a motivation for obedience to His word. Scripture in fact tells us that obedience gives evidence of our love for God.
Daniel 9:4 “And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments….”
John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me….”
The Spirit takes it a step further when He instructs us through the scripture to serve God in love. To serve God includes both obedience and worship according to Webster. It is acting with a desire to bring pleasure to God through our obedience.
Deuteronomy 6:13 “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him….”
To serve God in love is to serve with “all thy heart and soul.” In other words, it is service done with a total focus on pleasing Him without thought as to how it will benefit you. Selfless service is done in truth with no hidden agendas.
Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
1Samuel 12:24 “Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.”
According to scripture, standing for truth and righteousness gives great evidence that you have a healthy “fear of the Lord.”
Exodus 18:21 “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness….”
2Samuel 23:3 “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
Proverbs 14:2 “He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.”
Acts 10:35 “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
It stands to reason that one who values truth and righteousness will avoid doing evil things. To avoid evil not only gives evidence of a healthy fear of God, but also attests to acting with wisdom, with discernment and discretion. To avoid evil is to abstain from being proud and arrogant and to exercise control over your tongue.
Job 1:8 “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?”
Job 28:28 “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”
Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”
Proverbs 16:6 “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”
When we acknowledge God’s power and authority and choose to obey Him and serve Him in love and avoid evil, we are showing honor to His name. To honor His name is to show a healthy fear of the Lord.
Isaiah 29:23 “But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.”
To honor God’s name is to sanctify it and set it apart for holy use. I am appalled at how often I hear the phrase “O my God” used as a common expression of surprise—even by Christians. The way we use God’s name gives evidence of the amount of respect we have for Him. I am afraid that we have become so comfortable in God’s love that we sometimes forget that He is also our Lord and King. He is our Abba Father, but He is also to be reverenced and honored as LORD—and that includes guarding against using His name in any way that isn’t meant to glorify Him.