PROVERBS 9:10-11: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.” CSB

OBSERVATION: Today is Thanksgiving! As we look over our lives there is so much to be thankful for. On the top of my list is my wife, my daughter, and my family. Then there are all the wonderful and dear friends the Lord has gifted and placed in my life over the years. And, there is His faithful provision for our daily sustenance. Yet, as I look over everything, there is one thing I am thankful for above all else.

It is the fear of the Lord!

To fear the Lord is a gift. It is the gift of salvation. It is when God opens our eyes and we see Him for the very first time. Paul saw the Lord on the road to Damascus and it changed his life. I saw the Lord as I knelt in my apartment in Fullerton, California, and it transformed me. It opened my eyes to see the one who created all things. And, when I saw the Lord through eyes of faith, I began to fear the Lord!

To fear the Lord is not a call to be afraid. It is an invitation to enter into a relationship of a daily unveiling of His glory and wonder. The word should actually be translated reverence or awe. When I put the Lord first in my life I am giving Him the reverence He deserves. I am fearing the Lord. And, this is the first step to all the wisdom and knowledge I need to live my life to the fullest.

Why is this the one thing I am most thankful for? It is because without it I would miss all the wonders and blessings of life. My life would be consumed with selfishness and sin. I would take for granted all the blessings in my life and I would not have the capacity to love others with the love they need and deserve. Yet, when I fear the Lord, His love transforms me. I become a better husband, father, and friend.

The fear of the Lord also teaches me how to live and respond to all of life’s situations. Just this morning I was praying over how to respond to a difficult situation. When I opened my Bible – there it was. As I fear the Lord I also put His Word first in my life. And, as I meditate upon His Word, He guides my steps safely and teaches me His wisdom and knowledge. This is not something you master like a skill you learn. This is a daily dynamic relationship that you need to maintain in your life. To fear the Lord is a daily walk after the Spirit and in His Word!

Finally, to fear the Lord has great benefits. It redeems the days of our lives. It makes every day count for His good purposes. It also brings longevity and blessing. To fear the Lord is the best thing you can do for your mind and your health. The blessings are without end. Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, as we fear the Lord we walk in confidence, for we know what He has prepared for us!

  • “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.” Psalms 23:5-6 CSB

So, on this Thanksgiving Day, I pray that you too know the fear of the Lord. It begins as we place our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. And, it continues as we walk daily in His Spirit and His Word.

  • “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever.” Psalms 107:1 CSB

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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