Both the fear of God and the love of God have the same result: obedience to God.
Deuteronomy 31:12 Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God and be careful to do all the words of this law.
John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Fear, love, and obedience all show up in the verse below. What does that tell us?
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 ESV And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?
They are all related. The fear of God, the love of God, and obedience to God all go together. You can’t say you love God and not obey Him. If you obey God out of fear, then you will come to love Him because obedience comes with God’s blessing.
Why do we need to obey?
Isaiah 59:2 (NIV) But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Sin separates us from God. That’s what happened in the garden, right?
Why do we want to obey?
Deuteronomy 5:29 Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever.
We want it to go well with us! There is blessing in obedience. While God loves to give good gifts to His children, the best gift is Himself. If sin separates us from God, obedience draws us near to God, even into friendship with God. Repentance and righteousness make the Spirit welcome to work in our lives. Repentance is the decision to turn from our sin, to reject it and choose God instead. Righteousness is making the right choices. God can help us with both those things. We make the choice that we want to do it, and He’s right there to help us accomplish it.
James 4:8 (NLT) Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
Lesson Point: Our response to loving and fearing God must be obedience.
Challenge Question: If loving God means obeying, do you recognize that sinning is hating God?