Scripture Reading: Acts 9:31
“So the church throughout all Judea and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.” (Acts 9:31)
By this time there must have been hundreds of churches that spread across the regions of Judea and Samaria. Peace came to the early believers after the conversion of their prime persecutor Saul. The church continued to grow rapidly. Notice what we are told about the way the early Christians lived their lives: “And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.”
In writing to the believers at Colossae, Paul prayed: “That you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9,10). Because of the great love and grace of God freely given to us, we are to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. How we live our lives is important to God.
I believe we get some insight from this passage as to what it means to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. We are told that the early believers in Jerusalem were walking “in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.” We are to walk in the fear of the Lord because: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). The fear of the Lord is a phrase that has special meaning to believers. It means that we respect, revere, and stand in awe of God. We are to have a holy reverence for His transcendence. He is supreme above all. His infinite holiness, wisdom and power are above our ability to understand fully. Thus we are to have the greatest reverence for Him.
In addition to walking in the “fear of the Lord,” the early believers walked in the “comfort of the Holy Spirit.” Here is the immanence of God. He comes close to us. He puts His arms around us and we are comforted by His everlasting love. He is our heavenly Shepherd who deeply cares for us. He stoops low and comes to us in our need.
To walk in a manner worthy of the Lord means that we maintain a healthy balance between “the fear of the Lord” and “the comfort of the Holy Spirit.” Both are necessary to grasp, and both enable us to be fruitful.
Lord Jesus, I stand in awe of who You are — the King of all kings, the Judge of all mankind and yet the tender Shepherd who cares for Your sheep. Enable me to walk in the light of these two realities today.
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