Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 1 Thessalonians 2:9 NIV The first accusation against Paul by the church in Thessalonica was that he was using...
1. Fearing the Lord will give you wisdom.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psa. 111:10).
When God carries weight in your life, you will be on the path of wise decisions. How does God view what I am doing and saying? Without this fear of the Lord, you will make the wrong decisions, and you will choose the wrong path in your life.
2. Fearing the Lord will keep you from sin.
“Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin” (Ex. 20:20).
If you are driving and the traffic suddenly stops, you want to be sure your brakes are in good order. Good brakes keep you from disaster. The fear of the Lord is a brake against sin. It holds you back. You feel an impulse to sin, but you say, “How can I do this when God is watching?” The more you know of the fear of the Lord, the stronger your defense against sin will be.
3. Fearing the Lord will motivate you in evangelism.
“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others” (2 Cor. 5:11).
Since we have felt the weight of the judgment that is to come, and we know what it is to fear God, we seek to persuade others. Paul later says that the love of Christ compels us (2 Cor. 5:14, NIV), but here he starts with the fear.
A church that ceases to believe in hell may do a great deal of good in humanitarian and social action. But it will not evangelize. It is those who have learned the fear of the Lord who will be compelled to declare his glory.
Which of these motivates you the most? Why?