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Monday, April 30, 2018

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is insight. Proverbs 9:10

Putting Your Fears to Rest

I was teaching a group of Christians once when I mentioned the fear of the Lord. One man suddenly got angry and said “I don't like that word 'fear.' We shouldn't be afraid of God.” I knew what he meant but explained the word fear in the context of God does not mean being terrified of Him. It means a proper respect and reverence that leads to worship and obedience.

While God is mighty in His Being and attributes and is to be respected with awe and reverence He is also slow to anger and full of lovingkindness (Titus 3:4-6, Nehemiah 9:17, Psalm 145:8). His love has been shown to all people by giving His own Son as a sacrifice for our sins (1st John 4:10). And as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ God is the Father of all mercies and the God of all comfort (2nd Corinthians 1:3).

Perhaps we have a warped outlook of our heavenly Father through the conditional acceptance we received from a caregiver when we were young. It shaped our view of authority and left our sense of being able to be loved unconditionally deformed. While those kinds of experiences are unfortunate, God the Father tells us that He loves us with a love that is tender and never ending.

God is loving and gracious in His acceptance of those who have believed on His Son Christ Jesus. He desires for us to approach Him in a deeply loving relationship. Through His Son He sees us without blemish or defect. We may have a small view of ourselves and our frailties but God the Father sees us as His beloved children and since He is King of the entire universe in His eyes that makes us royalty and heirs.

As we embrace the reality of God's perfect love for us it can be a life changing experience. Merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love are just some of the ways He demonstrates His love for us. As we come to accept these beautiful aspects of God's unconditional love we can enter into a whole new era of love and understanding. It can bring us rest from fear and worry, strengthen our faith in Him and bring us a depth of peace of mind that we never imagined was possible. The fear (respect and reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and an experience of warm trust and belonging. The fear of the Lord is something to be pursued. It is something that will put your fears to rest.


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