Daily Devotional

Joni Eareckson Tada’s inspirational daily devotionals are biblical insights that will enrich,
enlighten, and encourage you in your walk with Christ Jesus.

The Fear of the Lord

"Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord."
-Proverbs 23:17

Sometimes Christians fall into the habit of envying evil-doers. But stop for a moment and think of what awaits people who ignore or challenge God. Consider the sinner’s state: What could be more terrifying than having as your prosecutor, judge, jury, then jailer a Father whose Son you murdered?Someone you’ve ignored and offended all your days? Someone whose mercies you have inhaled over a lifetime without a word of gratitude – like the spoiled kid on Christmas morning tearing through his gifts with no thought about who gave them? Someone whose reputation you only cared about when it served your purpose? Someone who can never be outwitted, sweet-talked, or negotiated into accepting a plea bargain? Someone who cannot be talked into showing mercy, because the time for mercy has passed? Such a hopeless person, is no one to envy!

Little wonder today’s verse tells us to always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. The eternal state of the believer is blessed beyond belief! That we who at one time scorned God should now be showered with his favor and pleasure! May we never take lightly our salvation, or shrug the Father’s kind arm from our shoulders while caressing Eden’s serpent coiled around our hearts! May we never envy sinners, but always respect the fear of the Lord. 

Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding...” The truly wise Christian is the one who invests time in cultivating an awesome respect and a reverent fear of the Lord. Our sins nailed the Father’s Son to the tree... it is only by God's grace that we are rescued.

Holy Father, I bow in humble respect for the unspeakable mercy you have shown me in that you have given me heaven rather than hell. Give me courage to tell others about the good news of your grace!