“Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.” (1 Peter 1:17, NIV)
In today’s scripture, Peter reminds the reader of two important things: (1) We are foreigners (some translations read “pilgrims”) on this earth. Heaven — not earth — is our home. We are, for a time, merely visitors here; and (2) We need to live each day of our lives in “reverent fear.”
Contrary to what the world would have us believe, fear is not a bad trait. The problem is that we too often fear the things and people we should pay no mind; and we pay no mind to the things that we ought to fear.
For example, a fear of electricity is warranted. Although we use electrical power every day, we observe and teach others a reverence for it that keeps us from abusing it. Such an attitude is not a bad thing. In fact, this “reverent fear” may have kept us from destroying ourselves by accidental electrocution!
As pilgrims on this spinning sphere, we need to keep in mind that our time is short, and our opportunities for good are constantly opposed by evil. If only for these reasons, live in “reverent fear.” Our heavenly Father is awesome in His power, yet he deals with us with gentleness and grace. – Luther