Week 1: Fear and Love
BIG IDEA: The fear of God and the love of God are two sides of the same coin. You cannot have one without the other. If you love God, you will fear God. If you fear God, you love God.
- Fear is a tricky emotion; too much of it can paralyze you, keep you small.
- Fear can also keep you safe. Healthy fear considers consequences; of actions, words, attitudes even values.
Fearing God is not so much a word defined in a dictionary, but a personal predisposition toward the God of the universe…It is a bent we have toward God. (N.Carlson, p. 23-24)
- Exodus 1:17
- Genesis 22:11
- Fearing God is connected to the love of God for it comes out of a relationship with God. (Psalm 25:14)
- Psalm 103: Two Words which describe God’s relationship with us
Chesed = loyal, faithful, unchanging, steadfast, covenantal love
Rachem = merciful, compassionate. Literally means ”womb”
- Fearing God begins as we experience his
LORD, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.
- The fear of the Lord is cultivated in the soil of his love, mercy, and forgiveness
- The fruit it produces is love, mercy and forgiveness toward others.
(Luke 19 & Matthew 18)
The fear of God can only be understood in the context of healthy family. (Carlson, p. xvi)
- Without a fear of God, acts of kindness, love, mercy, forgiveness do not penetrate the heart. (Matthew 18:21-35)
- Have you experienced God’s love for you?
- How deep is your awareness of his forgiveness?
- Do you see God as your ABBA?
- In what way has the fear of God penetrated your heart?
- Has your love for God grown into a love for others?