Living for Jesus is not designed to be a drudgery, but a joy. We get that joy by walking WITH Him and not just living FOR Him.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. 18 There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
Since this passage is OC (Old Covenant, meaning that is was written for Israel), let’s look at “the fear of the LORD” through New Covenant eyes. Our relationship with God has changed. We now serve Him based on Jesus’s command to “love one another just as I have loved you” (John 13:34-35) rather than out of fear because we know that “perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).” In other words, we love Jesus-and anyone- because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)! God demonstrated the perfect way to love by giving His Son for us (Romans 5:8). That sacrificial love is the basis for our Christianity, both for our salvation and for how to live out our faith in that sacrificial love.
This hope mentioned in today’s Proverbs passage is wrapped up in our relationship with Christ. HE is our future. As we walk with Him, we get to know Him better and better. We learn to trust Him more and more. As we trust Him, our fears of the unknown, of the future, of pain and heartache, of betrayal, and even of death, subside. Solomon puts it like this:
The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18
Don’t take MY word for it. Take the Apostle John’s. He walked with Jesus. He saw Jesus after He had risen from the dead. He watched Him ascend into heaven (how COOL was that!). He even had a conversation with Jesus after He had returned to His throne (see Revelation 1-3). So, what does John say?
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true. 1 John 5:20
Let’s break it down:
- We know– As Bryan, my pastor, says, “We know that we know that we know.” It’s an assurance thing. We KNOW it, therefore, we cannot be dissuaded or persuaded otherwise.
- The Son of God has come– Jesus came. It’s a historical fact. His resurrection and ascension we take on faith from eye witnesses of the events–more than 500 of them (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-8)!
- Has given us understanding– Jesus has opened our minds and hearts to the truth of God’s love, His Plan, and His invitation for us to join Him in His work.
- So that we may know Him– The OC has for its reward peace and prosperity; the NC has for its reward GOD HIMSELF as our Friend, Confidante, and Guide. It doesn’t get any better than that!
- Who is true– We can trust Jesus. He really does have all the answers.
As we get to know Him, we will learn to love others as He loves them. We will begin to demonstrate His love by doing what He did: Washing feet (serving others) and laying down our lives for others. Let’s let go of anything that draws us away from Him, whether it’s our schedule, our work, our PLAY, or even our desire to be pleasing to Him (He is already pleased with us. See Ephesians 1:5). What on earth could be more important or more interesting than a relationship with the heavenly Father and His Son through His Spirit who lives in us?!!!