My devotions this week covered a lot of ground. Reading from Psalm 109 to Isaiah 13, but one of the familiar themes of Proverbs caught my attention again. It tied in well with one of the daily devotionals I read on Wednesday, as well.
The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied. (Proverbs 19:23)
The fear of the Lord gives wisdom. The fear of the Lord gives knowledge. The fear of the Lord gives understanding. But here it says the fear of the Lord leads to life. God gives us physical life, but He also promises that those who seek Him will find Him, and the only way we will live eternally is to know the Son of God.
Paul opens his second letter to Timothy in this manner: "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus." We, who are spiritually dead, are made alive in Christ's life by His work on the cross. We're given a new life, a renewed mind, and a new mission as a Christian. We won't find eternal life in anyone or anything else, for Christ is the source and giver of Life. He is Life Himself. Jesus came that we "may have life and have it abundantly". (John 17:3)
We live in the flesh, but it's only temporary, and it's purpose serves to sanctify us and bring glory to God. The contrast of Christ's life in us is magnified all the more when we see the depraved nature of ourselves. "Always carrying in teh body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies." (2 Corinthians 4:10)
The fear of the Lord, a reverence and respect for His name, leads us to life, and it's by this life that we live eternally. "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." When we become a child of God, we are forever secure in His presence and protection, and nothing can separate us from His love. We are no more secure anywhere here on earth than the angels are in heaven. And when we are finished this physical life on earth, we will have life eternal in heaven.
This life in Christ, in return, should also increase our fear of the Lord, for we should be growing day by day in the Word and in communion with Him. Resting in the Lord for assurance of salvation, sanctification, and security is what will satisfy our hearts. By fear of the Lord we live with the promise of eternal life, and with the physical life He grants us now, we must learn to walk in the fear of the Lord all the days of our life. It is the Living God who grants us life, physically and spiritually. Our time here on earth is for a purpose, and we are immortal until we fulfill it.
"As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." (Psalm 42:1-2a)
"Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." (1 Timothy 6:12)