The Special of the Day... From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"Forgiveness and Fear"
"There is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared" (Psalm 130:4).
Fearing a perfectly unselfish being constitutes a very different thing than fearing anyone else.
"God is love… Charity (love) seeketh not her own" (I John 4:8; I Corinthians 13:5).
The Lord of Scripture has never thought a selfish thought, never spoken a selfish word, never committed a selfish act, and never done anything guided by narcissistic and egotistical self interest. Such glory begins in Himself as the triune Persons of the godhead relate to one Another in loving and sacrificial devotion. The Father seeks the best interests of the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Son seeks the best interests of the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit seeks the best interests of the Father and the Son. This is love in its infinite and eternal essence, the love declared by the Apostle Paul to "pass knowledge" (Ephesians 3:19).
This is also the basis of the believer properly fearing God. He will always act in our best interest as it relates to His glory, will, and eternal purpose in Christ. Presently, this does not always correlate with our definition of "best interests." We require both pleasure and pain in order to become what God would have us to be, and what we therefore need to be. He will always act accordingly, gracing us with "wonders without number" that fill and thrill our hearts, but also determining and allowing difficulties that greatly challenge our emotional sensibilities (Job 9:10). Love, that is, God's unselfish devotion to our best interests, guides both administrations. This is something to fear because Job's friend Eliphaz spoke falsely when he callously chided God's suffering servant, "Happy is the man whom God correcteth" (Job 5:17). Eliphaz served as the devil's mouthpiece by such a distortion of truth. Indeed, we will not be happy when experiencing the love of God in difficult ways. We can certainly know His joy deeply within. "Count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations" (James 1:2). But we will not be happy when our Lord's love leads us into necessary sorrows. Again, this is a love to fear because it will always act in accordance with what is best for us, rather than what is pleasant to us.
To know the love of God is to know the fear of God. He loves us enough to hurt us when necessary, or to lengthen the leash of our enemies who seek our harm. He works all together for our good, but in times of challenge, it will not feel this way. Few doctrinal truths more prepare us for the faith and faithfulness whereby we maintain our walk with the Lord in a consistent and growing manner. And few doctrinal truths will more illuminate our hearts with the sublime light of God's loving character, nature, and way. "Fear God" commanded the Apostle Peter, who well knew that beautiful glimmers of our Lord's love shine forth from the fearfulness of His unselfishness (I Peter 2:17).
"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
Weekly Memory Verse
In Him we live and move and have our being.