“Everyone was struck with fear and praised God” (Luke 7:16). Here, we see a holy combination of the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, and the joy of the Lord, which is our strength. Fear of the Lord is not an end in itself. Through the fear of the Lord, we are to confess our sins and receive the joy of the Lord. This doesn’t mean that the fear of the Lord is left behind. We carry the fear of the Lord with us – even when we are rejoicing in the Lord. It’s the fear of the Lord which gives depth to our experience of the joy of the Lord. Without the fear of the Lord, our joy becomes superficial. When we are  growing in the fear of the Lord, we become more aware of our sin and more deeply appreciative of His saving grace. Throughout our life of faith, the fear of the Lord calls us back when we are being pulled away from the Lord. Our  obedience to the Lord grows as, with joy in the Lord and the fear of the Lord, we grow in our appreciation of His love for us and we are kept by His power, walking on the pathway of holiness.

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