I know the Bible says we're supposed to fear God, but doesn't it also say we're supposed to love Him? How can you love someone that you also fear? This confuses me because it sounds like a contradiction.
To fear God is to treat Him with reverence and respect, acknowledging that He is far greater than we are, and He alone is worthy of our loyalty and obedience. It also means we realize we are accountable to God, and that some day we will stand before Him to be judged for all we have done.
But does this mean we should cringe whenever we think of God, and stand in terror of Him because we fear His punishment? It could — but it doesn’t need to, because God loves us, and He has provided the way for us to be forgiven and saved from His judgment. That way is Jesus Christ, who came down from heaven for one reason: to take upon Himself the judgment that we deserve for our sins. As Jesus Himself said, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).
Why did Jesus leave the glory of heaven and die a cruel death on a Roman cross? He did it for one reason: because God loves us. The Bible says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
Don’t ever lose your reverence and respect for God — but don’t ever lose sight of His love for you, either. Open your heart to His love by asking Christ to come into your life, and then thank Him for forgiving you and making you part of His family forever.