With the fear of God, with faith and love, draw near!
The fear of God is not just awe. The fear of God is a kind of fear. It is the knowledge that God is not to be trifled with, that God’s love is such that He will not shrink from extreme consequences to cure us of our sinful habits.
It seems as though we can get away with our secret sins. We are not caught; there is no terrible consequence--at least none that we see. Our conscience bothers us. We feel bad about it, but not bad enough to sacrifice whatever it takes to change. We think that God winks at our “little indulgence.” We do not realize that God’s patience is providing a space for our repentance, that wrath is being stored up for the day of wrath when God will not pay attention to our weeping.
Now is the acceptable time. Today is the day of salvation. Turn from your wickedness and live. If your right hand offends you (causes you to sin), cut it off. It is better to enter the Kingdom of Heaven maimed, than to enter whole into torment where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The suffering of amputation is severe, yet it is the love for the body that teaches us the wisdom of cutting off that which poisons the whole. So it is with God. The Wise Physician will cut and cauterize to heal the festering wounds that we have neglected. It's good to fear the physician's knife. It is good to follow the therapy (repentance and confession) the Good Shepherd prescribes. There is yet time to avoid surgery.