Learning to Fear God (Deuteronomy 5:32-6:12)

Today, we’re going to conclude our message series “The Power of God’s Word.” This series could go on for quite some time, but next Sunday, we’re going to begin a new message series called “Teach Us To Pray.” God’s Word and prayer go together. Without prayer, God’s Word has no power for your life. Prayer without God’s Word becomes dry, self-centered and ineffectual.

Today, my message is called “Learning to Fear God.” Everyone talks about loving God, but there is not a lot of talking or messages today about the fear of the Lord. Yet, God’s Word has many references to fearing God, both in the Old and New Testaments. I would say that the loss of the fear of the Lord in the modern church has led to the loss of God’s power in our churches.

Psalm 111:10 (NIV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

Here we see some key principals. First of all, the fear of the Lord is where wisdom comes from. Secondly, the fear of the Lord is tied in with obedience to God’s Word. Let’s look at another verse about the fear of the Lord.

Proverbs 1:7 (NIV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

If you don’t fear God, you won’t be wise, but foolish. The world is full of people who don’t fear God and therefore live lives characterized by foolishness. What is the fear of the Lord? Some of you may be thinking, well, I love God, so I don’t fear Him. However, as we’ll see this morning, loving God and fearing God are not mutually exclusive. In fact, if you don’t fear God, you don’t really love Him.

To fear God is fear Him alone and to have no other fears. To fear God is have an awe and reverence of a holy God who dwells in heaven. To fear God is recognize that Jesus is the only way to be rescued from an eternity in hell. To fear God is to recognize that God will punish those who break His laws and reward each person according to their actions in life. To fear God is to really fear God. We’ve just had a couple of Old Testament scriptures about the fear of the Lord. Let’s see what Jesus had to say about fearing God. Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said,

Matthew 10:28 (NIV) 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.

Jesus taught that His disciples should live in fear, not of death, but in the fear of God, who holds the power to send a person to hell for eternity. Why should we fear God? The fear of God leads people to live holy, righteous lives. The fear of God leads people to run away from sin towards the good things God has planned for them to do in life.

Today, we’re going to look at a passage that talks about God’s Word and the fear of God. In Deuteronomy 5, we read how God gave the children of Israel the ten commandments. Look at how God expresses His heart for the nation of Israel in

Deuteronomy 5:29 (NIV) Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!

God wants to bless you and your children. The only way that is going to happen is if you fear Him and keep His commands. The two go together. So, today, let’s look at how you and your family can be blessed by learning to fear God.

Listen to or watch my July 29, 2012 message Learning to Fear God.

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