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Fear Of The Lord

Having a sense of awe and respect for Almighty God which goes above and beyond anyone or anything else.

Devotional Thought

Read Jonah 1:1-17; 3:1-2.

Scientists say that between 2,500 and 10,000 small earthquakes ripple our planet every day. Most are minor tremors, but many remember the October 17, 1989 quake that interrupted the World Series in San Francisco. An even bigger quake hit southern Missouri in 1812 and changed the course of the Mississippi River. And a huge earthquake in China in 1976 killed almost 400,000 people. These tremors shake our confidence in the very ground we walk on and bring fear to the hearts of men. My wife and I experienced our first earthquake together while on the 24th floor in a San Diego hotel. We awoke from a deep sleep in the middle of the night to a swaying and creaking building. Like many in the hotel, we were frightened. We were very glad to get our feet back on the ground.

Jonah had an "earthquake type" experience when he tried running from God after the Lord told him to go to Ninevah. But God got his attention and imparted the fear of the Lord in him when a huge fish swallowed him and took him on a three day voyage. When Jonah was spit out of the whale, he was willing to go to Ninevah and proclaim God's message.

One of the healthiest motivators we can have in our lives is the recognition of a "fear of the Lord" above and beyond fearing anyone or anything else. The fear of the Lord gives you a new attitude--an attitude that brings about a practical application of God's commands and principles. A fear of man responds to the pleasures of people because they're afraid of what others will think. When you fear the Lord, you're obedient to Him regardless of the costs or the audience.

When we have this type of perspective, we are able to perform solely for the Lord and not for others. Colossians 3:17 instructs, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:23-24 adds, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

God expects our best effort in all of our endeavors. Whether on the job, in the classroom, on the athletic field, within our church or with our family, we are supposed to do our best for God's glory. He is the one we serve, as we fear and honor Him.