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20(Proverbs 01,07) The Fear of God 2

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A.     Fear – bad rap; some fear in life good, some fear even necessary.

§  Small children need to be taught to be afraid of a hot stove or else they will be burned.

§  Later, they need to be taught to be afraid of a busy street or else they may get hit by a car.

§  Teenagers need to be taught to be afraid of driving a car too fast or they might be killed.

B.     The fear that I am going to talk about is not only a good fear, it is a vital fear.

§  It is vital for the survival of a nation.  It is vital for the stability of a marriage.

§  It is even vital for the salvation of an individual.

§  Not politically correct to say, the greatest problem we face in American today is loss of this fear.

C.     The fear of God is the glue that holds a society together.

§  It is the safety net that keeps a nation from falling into chaos, anarchy, and moral destruction.

§  The fear of God is one fear I want to have and hold every day of my life.

§  To deal with all other fears and find God's best in life, we must have a healthy fear of God.

§  Lead you through some steps to understand importance of the fear of God.

I.       We Must Positively Envision The Fear Of God

§  God is not some bogeyman hiding behind every door waiting to catch you doing something wrong.

§  When I talk about the fear of God, I am not talking about the fear that a young boy feels toward a neighborhood bully.

§  I am not talking about the type of fear that a superstitious person has of the number thirteen.

§  Rather it is the like the awe and respect that I felt as I stood in front of the White House.

§  With that thought in mind, let me give you this definition of the fear of God:

§  The fear of God is the continual awareness that I am in the presence of a holy, just, and almighty God and that every thought, word, and action is open before Him and is being judged by Him.

A.     Think about this.

§  If you were aware that all of your thoughts, words, and actions would be displayed publicly so that everyone could hear them, watch them, and see them, it would make an unbelievable difference in the way you live.

§  A lot of us do worry a great deal about what other people think of us and that is the fear of man.

§  If we have this kind of fear of other people, how much more should we have of the fear of God?

B.     Fear is to the Old Testament, what faith is to the New Testament.

§  When I talk about placing your faith in God, trusting God, believing God, you don't have negative thoughts about that and you wouldn't see the fear of God in a negative light if you would just realize the tremendous benefits that come from fearing God.

C.     For example:

§  Do you want protection from your enemies? 

§  Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.

§  Do you want to stay away from temptation and have victory over sin?

§  Proverbs 16:6b … by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.

§  Do you want to have the best quality of life that you can possibly have on this earth?

§  Proverbs 22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches and honor and life.

§  Want to save on your medical bills?

§  Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened.

§  The point is you need to positively envision what fearing God can do for you and why fearing God is not a bad thing - it is a good thing.


II.    We Must Personally Experience The Fear Of God

§  Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

A.     Now think about it.  You cannot have a relationship with God unless you know God.

§  The very beginning of knowing anything about God or knowing God Himself is the fear of God.

§  Did you know just as important to salvation as love, grace, and mercy of God is the fear of God?

§  Psalm 85:9 Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land.

§  The true knowledge of God always begins with a deep reverence and fear for Him.

B.     If we were to boil the fear of God down to its true essence, it is this

§  Fearing God is taking God seriously and putting God in our lives where God belongs.

§  Until you do that, you will never know God personally for who God truly is.

C.     What hinders people from fearing God?  David told us thousands of years ago.

§  Psalm 36:1-2 An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For he flatters himself in his own eyes, When he finds out his iniquity and when he hates.

§  When you don't fear God two things are in the wrong place - you and God.

§  You see the fear of God is not only something you learn, it is something you choose.

§  Proverbs 1:29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD,

D.     You make a conscious choice every day what place you are going to have in your life and what place God is going to have in your life.

§  You can choose to fear God which means to choose to love God so much, that He and He alone is the supreme love of your life, and you love Him more than you love yourself or anyone else.

§  This may surprise you, but the fear of God and the love of God are inseparably linked.

§  Psalm 118:4 Let those who fear the LORD now say, "His mercy endures forever."

§  I know there are some of you who thought that the fear of God has nothing to do with a love for God.  I want you to write this statement down and never forget it:

E.      The person that fears God the most loves God the best.

§  In fact, there is nothing that will cause you to love God more than a proper fear of God.

§  There is nothing that will bring you more satisfaction in this life.

§  Psalm 34:9 Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.

§  Do you know why?  When God is in His proper place in your life and you have put nothing else in front of Him or before Him, He will satisfy every need you have, because He is all you need.

F.      “How can I fear God better, so that I will love God more?”

§  Proverbs 2:1 My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you,

§  Proverbs 2:5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

§  Here is a truth: when you hear God then you will fear God.

§  When you get into God's word and begin to hear what God says, the fear of God continues to grow in your heart.

G.     But then we learn another truth:

§  Psalm 25:14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.

§  When you fear God then you hear God.  That is the way a relationship is built.

§  When I hear God - I fear God.  Then when I fear God, I hear God.

§  The fear of God brings friendship with God.


III. We Must Live Out the Fear Of God

A.     There is a man in the book of Acts named Cornelius, who was a Roman soldier.

§  Do you know what the community said about him?

§  Acts 10:22 And they said, "Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews…"

§  Would people call you a "God fearing person?"

§  The way Cornelius lived people could see the fear of God in his life.

§  There is a difference between people who fear God and people who don't.

§  Let me give you areas where the fear of God should be seen in your life.

B.     (1) First of all, you will see it in your walk.

§  Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.

§  The fear of God leads to a life of holiness.

§  When you fear God it means that you fear displeasing Him.  You want to turn away from evil.

§  You want to hate sin as much as He hates sin.

§  When you realize the God that you fear is a God that loves you more than anyone else in the world,

§  then your love for Him will not only cast out every other fear,

§  but it will keep you from sinning, so that you don't displease Him.

C.     Let me put it this way.  If you really lived your life in a healthy fear of God:

§  What thoughts would change? What words would not be spoken? What actions would cease?

D.     (2) Not only will the fear of God affect your walk, it will affect your worship.

§  I learned something this week about the fear of God that I have never seen before.

§  All of your life you have been told and for much of my life I have thought that the primary purpose of the tithe was to support the work of the church.

§  Now that is a result of the tithe, but that is not the primary purpose.

§  Do you know what the primary purpose of the tithe is?  Listen to this,

§  Deuteronomy 14:22-23 "You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. 23 "And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.

§  I have never seen that before. The purpose of the tithe is not primarily to support the work of the church.  It is not primarily so you can get a tax break.

§  The purpose of the tithe is to teach you to fear God.

§  When you fear God you acknowledge that He is in control of everything you are and everything you have and that He will reward your faith when you give it back to Him.

§  A shocking conclusion: the real reason why people do not tithe is because they do not fear God.

§  One of the marks of the fear of God is that you will tithe.

Conclusion

§  The wisest man who ever lived, a man named Solomon, was at one time the richest and most powerful man in the world as well.

§  He wrote thousands of proverbs.  He was the man, the toast of the town.

§  Kings and queens traveled the world over to sit at his feet and learn from him.

§  Solomon blew a big part of his life getting away from the fear of God.

§  It cost him dearly. He wrote about that bitter experience in the book of Ecclesiastes.

§  After burning up four decades of his life, he looked back in the rear view mirror and wrote these words:

§  Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all.

§  Franklin Roosevelt once said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."  He was wrong.  When you fear God, you have nothing left to fear, not even fear itself - that is what life is all about.

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