by Neil Anderson
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction
To worship God is to acknowledge His divine attributes. He doesn’t need us to tell Him who He is. We need to keep our minds renewed to the reality of His presence. Notice how this is brought out in 2 Corinthians 5:9-11: “Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men.”
Realizing that God knows the thoughts and intentions of our hearts, we should be motivated to live our lives to please Him. Someday we’re going to stand before Him and give an account. The judgment that Paul is talking about in this passage is not for punishment, but for rewards. We don’t fear God because of the possibility of punishment: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love” (l John 4:18). We have already been judged as to where we will spend eternity. But how we spend eternity depends on how we respond to God in this lifetime.
I personally don’t want to limp into heaven and have Him say, “Well, okay, come on in.” I want to stand before God someday and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” That’s the greatest motivation in my life. As a child I didn’t fear the spanking of my father nearly as much as I feared being accountable to him and facing his disappointment.
I’m not disappointed with God and I sure don’t want Him disappointed with me.
Prayer: Lord, may the reality of my eternal salvation motivate me to wholehearted, grateful obedience today.