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Reverence for the LORD

Proverbs 16:1-33

Saturday, 12 August 2023

“By mercy and lovingkindness and truth [not superficial ritual] wickedness is cleansed from the heart, And by the fear of the Lord one avoids evil.” -Proverbs 16:6 [AMP]

The Book of Proverbs provides the Christian a practical guideline for living and developing his/her personal relationship with God. Proverbs 16:6 provides deep spiritual insight into how we can live a life pleasing to God. Two things that God desires to see in each of us are emphasized here from the key verse:

1. A Heart Cleansed from Wickedness

The Bible talks about all mankind being born into the curse of sin and death since the fall of Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12). This curse could only be broken by the redemptive plan of God. By the great mercy and love of God, in sending Jesus Christ for the remission of our sin, all iniquity is purged/cleansed from the heart of the one who believes and accepts Christ Jesus. This verse offers us the gospel in a nutshell. Loving kindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other (Psalm 85:10). God’s loving kindness has fulfilled the truth of His promised Messiah and restored our peace with God. As we live in this world, we need these character traits to live a godly life, free of iniquity. Reflecting on our lives, are we merciful and loving to others? Do we stand faithfully on the truth of God’s word? In James 2:17, the Apostle reminds us that “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Let us respond to others with the same measure of love and mercy we have received from our Heavenly Father that they may see Christ reflected in us and accept Him.

2. A Life Devoid of Evil

In our daily living, how can we be free of all kinds of evil, whether it be angry thoughts, unpleasant speech or nasty actions? Having the right attitude towards God – one of reverential fear, enables us to avoid all evil. Fear of God does not mean that we are to be terrified of God like the Israelites were at His presence on the Mount Sinai (Exodus 20:18-19), but rather to have an attitude of deep respect and reverence, standing in awe of our Creator and Redeemer. “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil…” (Proverbs 8:13); when our hearts are fully tuned to this Holy God with a respectful, worshipful fear, there is no place for any form of evil in our lives. “…what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul…” (Deuteronomy 10:12) Such an intense response to God engages every faculty of our being and there is no place for any unbecoming thought in us.

Do you wonder if it is possible in these times to live a live free from evil and iniquity? Yes! When we decide to devote our lives to the LORD in reverence for His mercy shown in saving us, we try to honour Him with our lives pleasing to Him. Let us with boldness proclaim based on Philippians 4:13: “I can live a life free of all sin, through Christ who strengthens me.”

Prayer: Abba Father, It is my heart’s desire to live a life free from sin that I may present myself as a living sacrifice - holy and pleasing to You. I pray for Your strength to lead me daily. Amen.



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