Holiness

The Fear of the Lord Produces Wisdom

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy one is understanding (Prov. 9:10).”

In the Bible, the word “fear” has many connotations. For instance, fear can mean respect in the way an employee views his or her boss (Josh. 24:14). It can refer to a scary or dreadful situation (Deut. 5:25). Lastly, fear can be associated with a deep sense of reverence or awe (Isa. 6:5). Fearing the Lord is a mixture of all three.

Jesus explicitly said in Matthew 10:28: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Of course, the one who has authority over our eternal fate is God.

When I got in trouble as a kid, my Mom would send me to my room until Dad got home. My room was right above the garage so when I heard it open, I waited in anticipation for my Dad to call me downstairs.

“Chad, get down here now!” he would yell. I would slowly walk downstairs into the kitchen. “Sit down,” he retorted. When I would sit down, he would always say to me with his index finger tapping the table, “Look at my eyes. Did you disobey Mom? Were you being disrespectful to her?”

“Yes,” I nervously responded. He answered back, “You need to change your attitude and apologize to her right now.” I ended with, “Yes sir.” And that was the end of our discussion.

That moment of fear made me change my attitude and led me to ask Mom for forgiveness. Immediately afterwards, our relationship was restored. Thus, discipline from my Dad was a good thing because the goal was reconciliation. It also gave me wisdom to resolve this situation in a positive way.

This analogy is true with our Heavenly Father. When we disobey Him, he gets upset. Sin is really distorting God’s creation. For instance, when we lie, we distort God’s law of truth. When we lust, our minds pervert it’s original intent for marriage. Since God is holy and good, He must hate what is unholy and evil.

While God hates sin, He desires all people to repent and believe in the gospel. Scripture says God is not slow in keeping his promise. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9).

Repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of action. Instead of lying, we tell the truth. Instead of falling for the temptation of greed, we act generously towards our neighbors. Healthy fear, knowing that God will judge us for practicing evil, motivates us to do what is “good, true, and noble” (Philip. 4:8).

God’s whole goal is to transform us into His image so He would be magnified on the Earth. Will you let him do that? Then fear God and you will begin to grow in wisdom and holiness that brings honor and glory to Jesus. Have a blessed day!

The Infinitely Majestic God

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Did you know humans are created in the image and likeness of God? The Bible supports this concept. Read Genesis 1:26-27.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” -Genesis 1:26-26 (NIV)

This passage clearly teaches that God created us to be like Him, but what exactly does image bearer mean? How are we like God? Here are some examples: We have moral awareness, creativity, willpower, stewardship, intelligence, leadership, and a desire for relationships.

All of these attributes are similar between God and humans. However, the major difference is the qualitative nature. God is not just morally aware; He is without sin. Perfect. An all-consuming fire. Holy. He has “no defect” like we do ( Gen. 1:31; Deut. 8:16; Psa. 107:8; 118:1; Nahum 1:7; Mark 10:18; Rom. 8:28).

God is not just intelligent like the human race. He possesses all knowledge. He is omnisciently aware of every grain of sand in the sea, all the stars in the universe, and even our deepest thoughts. The Psalmist knew this well. He cried out to God:

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn,  if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

The God of this universe is infinitely perfect in moral character, intelligence, power, creativity, etc. Because Yahweh is infinite and everything else in the universe is finite, God possesses a unique category. He is the Creator. All other entities (Angels, humans, animals, stars) are created.

Furthermore, God is the necessary being of the Universe. This means He is not dependent on any other being, but every being is causally dependent on Him. Without God, there would be “no-thing,” since all of us rely upon the Creator for life. Acts 17:28 states, “For in God we live and move and have our being.”

Lastly, the Scripture teaches many characteristics about God. His love, wisdom, power, purity, patience, etc, but His greatest character of all is His holiness. Holiness means God is separate, distinct, unique. The Lord is unlike anything else because of His infinite majesty. He is an all-consuming fire. Isaiah 6:3 makes this clear:

“And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” – Isaiah 6:3

You may be wondering. How then does the infinite holiness of God apply to my life? And my answer is quite simple: It applies to every facet of your being. It should change your attitude, relationships, worldview, political affiliation, work ethic, and innermost personality. When you encounter the holiness of God, it will change you.

The best advice I have for you is this: The more time you spend with God, the greater the person you will become. The greater the person you become, the more glory Jesus will receive. The more glory Jesus receives from His creation, the greater our world will be.