May 26, 2013 – June 1, 2013
That I Might Live
“Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” Hebrews 12:28.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 491–500; Ibid., vol. 8, 284–286.
“Godly fear, humility, and meekness are greatly needed by all in order to correctly represent the truth of God.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 259.
1 FEAR ASSOCIATED WITH REVERENCE
- What two conditions best summarize our duty to God? Ecclesiastes 12:13. How does this differ today from the prevailing attitude of the professed Christian? II Timothy 3:1, 2, 5.
Note: “There should be an intelligent knowledge of how to come to God in reverence and Godly fear with devotional love. There is a growing lack of reverence for our Maker, a growing disregard of His greatness and His majesty.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 315.
- How is a healthy fear of God revealed in us? Malachi 3:16; Colossians 3:16. What happens when people lose the fear of God?
Note: “True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of His infinite greatness and a realization of His presence. With this sense of the Unseen, every heart should be deeply impressed. The hour and place of prayer are sacred, because God is there. And as reverence is manifested in attitude and demeanor, the feeling that inspires it will be deepened. ‘Holy and reverend is His name,’ the psalmist declares (Psalm 111:9). Angels, when they speak that name, veil their faces. With what reverence, then, should we, who are fallen and sinful, take it upon our lips!” Prophets and Kings, 48, 49.
“When men cast off the fear of God they are not long in departing from honor and integrity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 557.
2 EXAMPLES WORTHY OF IMITATION
- How did the Hebrew midwives in Egypt show that they feared the Lord? Exodus 1:15–17.
Note: “The women feared God, and did not [do] as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. The women dared not murder the Hebrew children; and because they obeyed not the command of the king, the Lord prospered them.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 179, 180.
- What can we also learn from the examples of Job and Obadiah? Job 1:1, 8; I Kings 18:3, 4, 13.
Note: “It were well for parents to learn from the man of Uz a lesson of steadfastness and devotion. Job did not neglect his duty to those outside of his household; he was benevolent, kind, thoughtful of the interest of others; and at the same time he labored earnestly for the salvation of his own family. Amid the festivities of his sons and daughters, he trembled lest his children should displease God. As a faithful priest of the household, he offered sacrifices for them individually. He knew the offensive character of sin, and the thought that his children might forget the divine claims, led him to God as an intercessor in their behalf.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1140.
“During the apostasy of Israel, Obadiah had remained faithful. His master, the king, had been unable to turn him from his allegiance to the living God.” Prophets and Kings, 138.
- How was Cornelius blessed because he feared the Lord? Acts 10:1–6.
Note: “Believing in God as the Creator of heaven and earth, Cornelius revered Him, acknowledged His authority, and sought His counsel in all the affairs of life. He was faithful to Jehovah in his home life and in his official duties. …
“The angel appeared to Cornelius while he was at prayer.” The Acts of the Apostles, 133.
3 GODLY FEAR REWARDED
- What blessings will be bestowed upon all who truly fear the Lord? Psalms 34:7, 9; 85:9; Luke 1:50.
Note: “Those who are true to God need not fear the power of men nor the enmity of Satan. In Christ their eternal life is secure. Their only fear should be lest they surrender the truth, and thus betray the trust with which God has honored them. …
“Jesus assures His disciples of God’s sympathy for them in their needs and weaknesses. Not a sigh is breathed, not a pain felt, not a grief pierces the soul, but the throb vibrates to the Father’s heart.” The Desire of Ages, 356.
“[Job 1:9, 10; Psalm 34:7; Matthew 18:10 quoted.] …
“Thus God’s people, exposed to the deceptive power and unsleeping malice of the prince of darkness, and in conflict with all the forces of evil, are assured of the unceasing guardianship of heavenly angels. Nor is such assurance given without need. If God has granted to His children promise of grace and protection, it is because there are mighty agencies of evil to be met—agencies numerous, determined, and untiring, of whose malignity and power none can safely be ignorant or unheeding.” The Great Controversy, 513.
- From what other fear are we to be delivered, especially in the time of trouble which is to come upon the inhabitants of the world? Psalms 46:1–3; 91:1, 5, 6.
Note: “When we put away our sins and come to Him in faith, He takes our names on His lips, and presents them to His Father, saying, ‘I have graven them upon the palms of my hands; I know them by name’ (Isaiah 49:16; Exodus 33;17). And the command goes forth to the angels to protect them. Then in the day of fierce trial He will say, ‘Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast’ (Isaiah 26:20). What are the chambers in which they are to hide? They are the protection of Christ and holy angels. The people of God are not at this time all in one place. They are in different companies, and in all parts of the earth; and they will be tried singly, not in groups. Everyone must stand the test for himself.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1143.
4 IN VIEW OF HEAVEN’S JUDGMENTS
- How should a proper fear of God govern our attitude as we witness to souls in darkness? I Peter 3:15.
Note: “[I Peter 3:15 quoted.] The fear here spoken of does not mean distrust or indecision, but with due caution, guarding every point, lest an unwise word be spoken, or excitement of feeling get the advantage, and thus leave unfavorable impressions upon minds, and balance them in the wrong direction. Godly fear, humility, and meekness are greatly needed by all in order to correctly represent the truth of God.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 258, 259.
- How can a correct understanding of Heaven’s judgments strengthen our faith? Matthew 10:28.
Note: “Some seem to think that if a man has a wholesome fear of the judgments of God, it is a proof that he is destitute of faith; but this is not so.
“A proper fear of God, in believing His threatenings, works the peaceable fruits of righteousness, by causing the trembling soul to flee to Jesus. Many ought to have this spirit today, and turn to the Lord with humble contrition, for the Lord has not given so many terrible threatenings, pronounced so severe judgments in His Word, simply to have them recorded, but He means what He says.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1100.
“What was the strength of those who in the past have suffered persecution for Christ’s sake? It was union with God, union with the Holy Spirit, union with Christ. Reproach and persecution have separated many from earthly friends, but never from the love of Christ. Never is the tempest-tried soul more dearly loved by His Saviour than when he is suffering reproach for the truth’s sake. ‘I will love him,’ Christ said, ‘and will manifest Myself to him’ (John 14:21). When for the truth’s sake the believer stands at the bar of earthly tribunals, Christ stands by his side. When he is confined within prison walls, Christ manifests Himself to him and cheers his heart with His love. When he suffers death for Christ’s sake, the Saviour says to him, They may kill the body, but they cannot hurt the soul. ‘Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33).” The Acts of the Apostles, 85, 86.
5 TRUE WORSHIP
- How are we to give glory to God? Isaiah 58:6–8. What is necessarily involved in the command to worship God as the Creator of the universe? Revelation 14:7, first part.
Note: “To give glory to God is to reveal His character in our own, and thus make Him known.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 979.
“By the first angel, men are called upon to ‘fear God, and give glory to Him’ (Revelation 14:7, first part) and to worship Him as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In order to do this, they must obey His law.” The Great Controversy, 436.
- Why does our duty to worship God as the Creator involve Sabbath keeping? Exodus 20:8–11; 31:16, 17. What three things are connected with Sabbath keeping? Genesis 2:2, 3.
Note: “To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ’s creative and redeeming power, it will be a delight. Seeing Christ in it, they delight themselves in Him. The Sabbath points them to the works of creation as an evidence of His mighty power in redemption. While it calls to mind the lost peace of Eden, it tells of peace restored through the Saviour. And every object in nature repeats His invitation, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28).” The Desire of Ages, 289.
“Christ says, Take My yoke of restraint and obedience upon you, and learn of Me. … The heart will then be made right with God, through the creative power of Christ.” In Heavenly Places, 162.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What prevailing attitude must we be careful to avoid?
2 From which Bible characters can we learn something about the fear of God, and why?
3 What blessings come to us as we fear the Lord?
4 Why is reverence for God so important in witnessing?
5 How does the first angel’s message point us to the Sabbath commandment?
© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.