First Things First

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

Proverbs 1:7 NKJV ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” ‭‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

The “Law of First Things” applies to everything that we do. The writer of Proverbs says that the prioritization of the important things in life is critical if we are to gain knowledge, and by default, live our lives to the fullest. The order of priority is established when he writes, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” When you have a fear of the Lord, you embody what the great Commandment says we are to do, “love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).

To love the Lord is to have a fear of Him. When the writer talks about the fear of the Lord, he is not talking about terror or dread. The word he uses is yare’ and defined as reverence, respect, admiration, or awe. When you have this type of fear, you want to know more of what He says, what has been written about Him and how to serve Him with all your heart, all your soul and all your might. When Jesus was asked what the greatest Commandment was, He quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 and added, “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39). That’s real knowledge; loving others as you love yourself. Along with knowledge we also gain wisdom and the ability to follow instruction. In contrast, the writer of Proverbs says, “fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

As we stand at the dawn of a new year, what are the priorities? So many lives ended in the year 2020 who never saw the sunrise of 2021, but you and I made it. This year, we need to put first things first! I encourage you to start at the beginning, to put first things first, and gain wisdom by developing a fear of the Lord. Get ready!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; and creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen on Matters of Faith on Facebook LIVE.

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