Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. (Josh. 24:14)

When you hear the phrase, “fear the Lord,” do you have thoughts wondering what God is going to do to you? What does it actually mean to “fear the Lord and serve him”? When someone says they fear the Lord, it means they love and respect him so much they are afraid to be away from him. To fear God is to give absolute reverence and awe to him as the Almighty Lord of the universe.

How can we comprehend the extravagant and great news of Jesus Christ’s love for all if we don’t first appreciate and live out the fear of the Lord? Without the awe, respect, and allegiance due to our Maker, we will never fully appreciate what he did when he created us with the intent that we would be in an eternal, loving relationship with him. We will never begin to comprehend why he sent his only Son to die on Calvary’s cross for the sins of the world, including ours.

Fear well. Why? How? Because of your awe. Because of your respect. Because of your relationship. Because of your standing as a forgiven son or daughter of God. Because you want to live up to the namesake of the Lord. Because of how God has blessed you. Fear well through a deep respect for the giver of life and by living a life of gratitude.

Fear the Lord and serve him alone with your whole life!

Jim Dunn is the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.