ODJ: reverent fear
August 8, 2014
READ: 1 Peter 1:13-25
Live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land” (v.17).
The ocean was churning. Massive waves were causing the huge vessel to lean from side to side. As I stood and looked out through a window, I was amazed at the power and fury of the storm. The beating of the raindrops on the metal deck matched the rapid beating of my heart as the ship was buffeted by fierce elements.
Being out on the ocean during a powerful storm provides a crash course in respect for the forces of nature. Infinitely greater and more powerful, God truly elicits awe-inspiring fear—“reverent fear” (1 Peter 1:17). Peter used this term as he called his readers to pursue a holy life.
The writer of Hebrews said that we should worship God “with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire” (12:28-29). God’s white-hot holiness stands in direct contrast to the darkness of our sin. When we encounter Him, our hearts and consciences are pierced by His perfection and undone by His righteousness.
Peter wrote, “Now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy’ ” (1 Peter 1:15-16). What does that look like? Peter provides a helpful contrast. He says that we once lived “to satisfy [our] own desires” (v.14). Our lives were marked by sin, disobedience to God and other unholy ways. But now “the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” has allowed us to be “cleansed from [our] sins when [we] obeyed the truth” and believed in Him (vv.19,22). A holy life reflects the glory of God and the absence of the darkness of sinful desires.
Are we in awe of God? Are we amazed in His presence? Reverent fear can help us as we seek to be holy as He is holy. —Tom Felten
365-day plan› Luke 13:1-21
Read Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2, 20:7 and consider how people pursued holiness in Old Testament days. How did Jesus change this pursuit?
How do you live out reverent fear for God? What marks the life of a person who is truly living a holy life in Jesus?