Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. David C. Grabbe, writer for Bible Tools says, “The reverential awe and respect—fear—of God is what produces wisdom in making sound choices, in having good judgment, in understanding cause and effect. The fear of God makes for a good life—not just for the self, but also for everyone for all time.
James describes such ‘wisdom from above’ as ‘first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy’ (James 3:17). These elements produce a good life, a life of spiritual wisdom. All of them are opposites of evil, of causing harm. Godly fear causes a man to evaluate properly and to arrive at the correct conclusion about what he should or should not do. Ultimately, the fear of the Lord teaches us to live eternally—to live with the skill that the Father and the Son have in living.”
This is what the early church was doing. We read about that in Acts 9:31. In a healthy church, we will make wise choices as we fear the Lord knowing that there are consequences for our decisions.
The Father disciplines those He loves. Look at Hebrews 12:5-11 and Revelation 3:19. God cannot be mocked (Galatians 6:7). We reap what we sow. I know my dad loved me and would never kick me out of our family, but I still feared him because he would discipline me so that I could have what was best for me. When I obeyed, my life went well. When I disobeyed, I suffered the consequences! When we repent and correct our behavior as we go and keep short accounts, we are able to bear fruit and enjoy sweet fellowship in the church.
Job 28:28, Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, Acts 9:31, Galatians 6:7, James 3:17, Hebrews 12:5-11, Revelation 3:19