Acts, chapters 4 & 5

“You have lied, not to men, but to God. […] Why did you two agree to make a test of the spirit of Jehovah?”
~Acts 5:4,9

Ananias and his wife Sapphira were members of the Christian congregation in Jerusalem.
They tried to deceive their brothers and sisters by claiming they had contributed more than they had really given. (Acts 5:1,2)
Some people lie to preserve their reputation or advance their interests.
While some can deceive their friends and family, it is impossible to deceive God. (He. 4:13)
The Apostle Peter acted as God’s representative when he questioned Ananias and his wife about their deception.
He was moved to do so by God’s holy spirit.
In that sense, the couple was trying to lie to God.
As imperfect humans, from time to time we may be tempted to try to get away with improper behavior even while we serve Jehovah.
We must remember that Jehovah hates deception to the point of equating it with violence. (Ps. 5:6; Prov. 6:16,17)
If we learn to be honest with ourselves and with those around us, we can maintain a good standing before God. (Zech. 8:16,17; Luke 6:45)

Ezekiel, chapters 32-34

“​For this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says:’Here I am, and I myself will search for my sheep, and I will care for them.'”
~Ezekiel 34:11

As time proceeds deeper into the “last days,” Jehovah God actively looks for those who have strayed from the flock. (John 10:16; 2 Tim. 3:1-5)
Although Jehovah’s Witnesses’ worldwide preaching work is primarily aimed at witnessing to non-believers, from time to time we run into a stray sheep who for one reason or another has seized associating with the congregation.
Because our work is headed by angels, we are able to find repentant brothers and sisters who recognize the times we are living in and ask for help to return to Jehovah before it is too late. (Zep. 2:2,3; Rev. 14:6,7)
It is an undeserved honor to be allowed to collaborate with our kind heavenly Father in this soul saving work. (1 Cor. 3:9)

Jeremiah, chapters 32-34

“[…] I will put the fear of me in their hearts, so that they will not turn away from me.”
~Jeremiah 32:40

Fear of God is not a morbid fear.
It refers to the fear of displeasing him, just like we would not want to let down someone who loves and trusts us.
It involves having a healthy positive attitude toward spiritual matters. (Matt. 5:3; Acts 13:48)
Jehovah God attracts people to him through Bible truths. (John 6:44)
When we have the right heart condition, we respond to his truths by learning more and drawing closer to him. (Ps. 25:9)
Jehovah thus allows a strong relationship to develop and with it, a healthy fear of displeasing him.
Many of us have found that cultivating such a relationship with our Maker has given life authentic purpose. (Eccl. 12:13)

Psalms 19-25

“Though I walk in the valley of deep shadow,
I fear no harm,
For you are with me […]”

~Psalm 23:4

There are periods in life which may be likened to dark valleys.
Perhaps we are depressed or experiencing high levels of anxiety.
In another Psalm, David wrote:

“Turn your face to me and show me favor,
For I am alone and helpless.
The distresses of my heart have multiplied;
Free me from my anguish,” (Ps. 25:16, 17).

How, then, does Jehovah God present himself at my side when I feel alone and anxious?
In the next verse, the writer prays: “Pardon all my sins,” making a connection between the sins and his affliction (Ps. 25:18).

One of the ways Jehovah draws close is by forgiving.
But in order to appreciate His pardon I must have the right motives.

“For the sake of your name,
O Jehovah,
Forgive my error,
though it is great,” (Ps. 25:11).

True repentance involves recognizing that the most important thing at stake is not how I feel, but Jehovah’s name with everything it represents, including mercy.
To have that point of view, I must first cultivate a healthy fear of God and humility to let myself accept His guidance (Ps. 25:12).

At that point, I will no longer fear alone or anxious because God’s “rod and staff” will have reassured me, making the darkness bearable (Ps. 23:4).

2 Chronicles, chapters 15-19

“Now let the fear of Jehovah be upon you. Be careful about what you do, for with Jehovah our God there is no injustice, no partiality, no bribe-taking.”
~2 Chronicles 19:7

When King Jehoshaphat of Judah appointed judges over God’s people, he instructed them to fear God and be impartial.
Nowadays, we can observe much discord and unrest in society due to statistics in the criminal justice system that suggest institutional racism.
In the above Bible passage, we learn that the key to fair judgment is the fear of God.
If an authority-figure believes that a higher power will ultimately hold him accountable for his motives and choices, his sense of justice should move him to avoid prejudiced judgments.
Thus, when society as a whole has little to no fear of God, social disparity increases.

1 Kings, chapters 7 & 8

King Solomon described Jehovah’s kindness in the context of a deep prayer:

“Whatever prayer, whatever request for favor may be […] (for each one knows the plague of his own heart) […], then may you hear from the heavens, your dwelling place, and may you forgive and take action; and reward each one according to all his ways, for you know his heart (you alone truly know every human heart), so that they may fear you […]” (1 Ki. 8:38-40).

Fearing God in our hearts does not mean we dread God or that we flee from him.

Fear of God implies fear of letting him down, fear of disrespecting him.

Whether or not a person is sincere in their service toward God can only be judged by God himself.

One is assured, however, that regardless of what we do, God pays to each his own.

Imagine someone in a dire situation.

He calls out to God, but God sees that he is insincere.

God does not forgive him.

Not even Jehovah God, the God of all love, kindness and forgiveness, forgives him, because that person is insincere and God can see through his facade.

That would be truly dreadful.

It is different, though, when one serves God.

If you sincerely strive to do what is good because you fear displeasing God, or if you sincerely repent, you can rest assured that Jehovah will listen to your prayer and bless you according to your ways, sooner or later (Ps. 145:16; Rev. 21:3-5).

“O Jehovah the God of Israel, there is no God like you in the heavens above or on the earth beneath, keeping the covenant and showing loyal love to your servants who are walking before you with all their heart,” (1 Ki. 8:23).