Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor Mark Chun (Radiance Christian Church), was originally posted on March 15, 2013.
Devotional Thought for Today
“The Fear of the Lord”
Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. 14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
Many Christians make the assumption that fearing God simply means respecting Him. However, as you read some of the accounts of those who feared God in the Bible, it appears as if there was more to their reactions than simple reverence. Sometimes there was sheer dread, others tried to flee, still others were surprised and shocked by the weight of his glory.
In the mind of the modern believer, this doesn’t seem like the appropriate starting point for a healthy relationship with God, but both the Old and New Testament are consistent in their assertion that fear is both the beginning of wisdom and the right foundation for our relationship with God. Proverbs 3:7b reminds us not to “be not wise in your own eyes [but] fear the Lord.” The Hebrews writer echoes that sentiment, saying, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
A real danger to our faith is turning the supernatural and foreign nature of God into something that seems commonplace or tamable. There is nothing ordinary about our God who he is most worthy to be feared. Surprisingly, as the psalmist points out, this is where an authentic friendship with God begins.
Think about what it means to be a friend of God. How can friendship and fear coexist in our relationship with God?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the friend of sinners, unconditionally loving yet greatly to be feared. Not only are you the Lamb that was slain but you are also the Lion of Judah. I pray that my relationship with you would grow deeper as I learn more about who you are. Help me to realize that all of life’s pursuits pale in comparison to the pursuit of knowing you.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 4
Lunch Break Study
Read John 15:14-16 (ESV): You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Questions to Consider
- What is the condition of friendship with Jesus? (John 15:14)
- What are the benefits of this friendship? (John 15:15)
- What are the responsibilities of friendship with Jesus? (John 15:16)
It is a tremendous honor to be considered a friend of God. In Christ, we can be sure that we have a friend who will stick closer to us than a brother and someone who will never leave or forsake us.
- One of the clear conditions of friendship with Jesus is that we have to obey his commands. This is a reminder that our friendship with Jesus is not a peer relationship but one where he remains Lord. As we wrestle with our obedience to God, we should take comfort in the fact that the commands of Christ are not burdensome but for our own good.
- The great benefit of our friendship with the Son of God is the fact that the believer is given knowledge of what the Father is doing. As long as we abide in our relationship with Jesus, we will able to discern God’s voice, will, purpose, and activity.
- The main responsibilities we have as friend of Christ are to abide in him and to bear much fruit. Just as every branch in the vine bears fruit, believers are called to live fruitful lives.
Did you have the sense that God was walking with you through your daily routine? Reflect on how God made Himself known to you today.