The fear of the Lord

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“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” Malachi 3:16-18 KJV

It is a striking attribute of those people who truly love the Lord their God. These people realise who their Saviour is and they fear Him. They understand His ultimate power and complete glory in the highest, and so they revere His name. They also realised what He has done on their behalf and the cost He took on Himself to love them.

So much so, that the conversation of these redeemed people is constantly about Him – who He is and what He has done for them. Christians speak often to each other about what God is doing and they speak to outsiders and bear witness to the ways of God and His person. The Lord hears His people. He hears our conversation and knows what we spend most of our time talking about. He knows that if we are talking about Him, then we are thinking of Him too. He values such thoughts highly. So highly that these precious people will be among His most treasured possessions and will shine like jewels in His everlasting kingdom. 

Those who serve the Lord with full hearts will be kept by God and regarded as dear daughters and sons. On that last great day of judgment, God will have regard for what has been done for Him, and the  child of God will be spared from shame. But to follow Christ in this life, often means shame and scoffing. 

God knows who is really serving Him, and who are just serving themselves. To be a jewel in that everlasting kingdom is to be sincere and obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit in serving God. We cannot dupe God in following our own selfish desires in His name. There are too many empires being built around individuals who take authority to themselves and think everything is dependant on them. God is side-lined, the Spirit is quenched, and people are puffed up in pride. 

Whatever we are asked to do for the sake of Christ, none have pure motives. We all get foolish ideas and have ulterior motives that can squash the effectiveness of the work of God. We can think we know what we are doing, and disobey and disappoint our Lord and God. To serve Him, is to step out in faith so that if you fail, everyone will know you failed. Faith puts everything on the line. It’s all or nothing. 

It’s hard for us to deny ourselves and take the low place. We operate in godless ways and use worldly strategies to build organisations. You can have all kinds of acclaim, and miss the crucial acceptance as a daughter or son of the kingdom. A jewel in the treasury of God is not even recognised in this world. These jewels are people who are much despised. They resist the temptations to be praised and well-thought of in this earthly kingdom. God protects them from the false rewards that come from human sources. When they go wrong, they admit it and put things right. 

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:3 NIV

Fearing God is not popular. But those who fear Him will put away all worldly considerations. Their hearts are focused on Him. They gain a heart of wisdom and will shine like stars in His coming kingdom. 

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