WHAT IT TRULY MEANS TO FEAR THE LORD
When is pleasure healthy? That is when we give others pleasure because we care about them. Real pleasure comes from the joy we receive in the happiness of others. Real pleasure comes from giving of ourselves, but our natural tendency is to seek pleasure for ourselves. Hence, the Apostle Paul had to make this observation.
When did Jesus say that it more blessed to give than to receive? That is not certain. Some scholars point to Matthew 10:8, admitting that Paul’s quote and Jesus’ words are not a direct match. Apparently, Paul quoted Jesus, but he was the only one who wrote down this phrase. Nevertheless, Paul’s quote is consistent with what Jesus taught. Consider John 13:1-17 NASB – Bible Gateway. That passage tells us how Jesus humbled Himself to wash His disciples feet. That passage ends with these words.
Another translation of the Bible includes this footnote about Acts 20:35.
The Aramaic is an idiom that speaks of extravagant generosity. “Blessed are those who try to give more than they’ve been given.”Acts 20:35 TPT – I’ve left you an example of how you – Bible Gateway
God does not bless us for serving ourselves; He blesses us for serving others. Like our parents God teaches us to share the toys He has given us with others. God teaches us that joy comes from giving and sharing in the happiness of others.
How much more blessed is it to give than it is to receive? Consider how Jesus defined greatness.
When we read this passage, we are immediately struck by two things.
- We are amazed by the audacity of James and John. They asked to sit next to God?
- We are amazed by the foolishness of James and John. They still don’t understand the nature of the cup that Jesus is about to drink.
What fades pass us? What makes us just as foolish as those apostles? We don’t immediately understand that in spite of the horror His death Jesus gained joy from giving His life for our sakes, that He actually does want us to learn from and follow His example.
So, what about that title? What does it truly mean to fear the Lord? Contemplate the example of Jesus Christ. What could be more terrifying than a God who commands us to love Him with all our heart, strength, mind, and soul? What could be more awe inspiring? A Holy God? A God who loves so much He lays down His life for sinners?