There are two great commands in the Bible. The first is “Fear the Lord.” And the second is “Fear not!” I tried to explain last Sunday from Exodus 20:20 that what we should not fear is to draw close to God and what we should fear is to run away from him. God is a joy and a refuge to those who cling to his neck, but he is a terror to those who flee.
So the “fear of the Lord” is a very peaceful and secure feeling. In fact, fearing the Lord means counting on our fellowship with God to make us happier in the future than anything else could. Romans 15:4 says that the whole Bible was written to persuade us that this is true: Staying close to God and not running away into sin is the most hope-full way to live. Promise after promise verifies it: “the friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him” (Psalm 25:14). “How abundant is your goodness which you have laid up for those who fear you” (Psalm 31:19). “The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love” (Psalm 33:18). “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them” (Psalm 34:7). “As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him” (Psalm 103:11, 17). “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13). “He fulfills the desire of all who fear him” (Psalm 145:19).
What does the fear of the Lord have to do with “Project ’84: Alive in the City, A Love for the World”? If we fear the Lord in this biblical sense, we will probably pledge to give more to the Project, not because we cower under a divine whip, but because we have so much confidence in God’s provision for our need. “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence” (Proverbs 14:26).
Let the sweet fear of the Lord rise up in your heart as the all-church banquet and our intensive week approach. Put on the glasses of this godly fear as you ponder your three-year financial picture. Look at everything through the Word of God: “Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no want” (Psalm 34:9). “The Lord provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant” (Psalm 111:5).
I will be praying for you all! Please set aside time to be alone and pray with me that God will use us to touch this city and the world with the gospel. We can reach $500,000 (about $7 per giving unit per week for three years above our present giving). O, how I would love to see us give 50% of this project to the cause of our Savior beyond our local needs. God, do it in us, I pray.