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First Things First

Briefing: This study will do you no good if you don’t know God. Proverbs 9:10 (HCSB), “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”

Dispatch (Assignment): How would you define fear? What scares you? Read Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10.

On the Street: “I thought God was a god of love. If He is love, why do I need to fear Him?” Have you ever been asked this question? Maybe you have even asked it yourself.

To be able to answer this question we need to understand the meaning of fear. We are not talking about fear of the “boogie man” or imaginary monsters. Fear is defined as, “to have a reverential awe of”. Reverence is defined as being inspiring.

I love my dad. Growing up he was the disciplinarian in the family. I had a healthy fear and respect for my day. It is no different than the love, fear and respect we need to have for our heavenly father (God).

Matthew 10:28 (NASB) says, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” This sums it up for me. I read this and understand why I need to fear the Lord.

This does not lessen the fact that God loves us with an unimaginable love. He sent His son to die for us. There is not another example of God’s love that is as deep as John 3:16.

So, do you fear the Lord? Do you fear the one who can send you to Hell (Matthew 10:28)? In case you are unaware of who has this power, it is God. You have to know Him and have a healthy respect for Him.

There is only one way to know the Father and that is by knowing His son. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6 – NIV). Do you know Jesus? Is He the lord of your life? If you have not asked Jesus to be your Savior, I encourage you to do so.

The Bible lays out what you must do to be saved by Jesus Christ. Think of it as the “element of the offense” for becoming a Christ follower. Romans 10:9 (NIV), “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

You must admit you are a sinner. “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one'” Romans 3:10 (NIV). There is not one person on this earth who is sinless. Who knows this better than a law enforcement officer? We too are guilty of sin. It is just a fact.

You must be willing to turn from sin and repent/confess. “In the past, God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30 (NIV).

You must believe that Jesus Christ died for you, was buried and rose from the dead. Romans 5:8 (NIV) tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Romans 10:9-10 (NIV) says, “If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Now to the critical point. You have been given all the evidence you need to convict yourself as a sinner without a savior. No partner, SWAT team or anything else can save you. Jesus is the only way. He is reaching down to pull you out and save you, but you have to reach up to Him and take His hand. The way to do this is to pray to Him. Confess your sins to Him, tell Him you believe in Him. Cry out that you need Him and you desire to give up your life for Him. Ask Him to be your own personal Savior and come into your life. Romans 10:13 (NIV) says, ” for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Highlights from the Read: The “fear of the Lord” is a simple concept but if not understood it can derail your understanding of why we need wisdom. Gaining wisdom is for our own good, to learn how to live a disciplined life that lines up with what God expects of us.

Psalm 112:1 (NASB) says, “Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments.” This was written by David. David was Solomon’s father.

Investigational Resources: In Mark 4:40 we read the story of Jesus calming the storm. The disciples feared the raging storm. In verse 41 their fear of the storm turns into terror of Jesus and His power. The fear of the Lord is not terror. That is a different kind of fear. Both disciple’s responses, in Mark 4:40-41, were wrong.

I encourage you to look up the verses concerning your decision to either accept or reject Christ. Research and investigate the issue of your salvation and the consequences of that decision. It will be the most impactful investigation of your life.

Officer Safety Principle: This is a decision that will affect your life on this earth but more importantly, will determine where you spend eternity. Learn to fear God.

from The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!

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