Sacred space where others are overwhelmed by grace

Culture trumps just about everything. If you create an environment where people can thrive, they generally come alive.


Let me tell you where I’m headed in this talk…

Proverbs reminds us that the “fear of the Lord” is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).

On the other hand, “fools despise such knowledge and instruction” (also 9:10).

Notably, there are two kinds of fear presented in the Bible. That is, there are two different Hebrew words we translate the same in English.

Understanding the RIGHT KIND OF FEAR is essential…


🙀 Pechad = dread, panic, hopelessness, and despair.

This is the “fear" David referenced in Psalm 23:4, when he said that he would “fear no evil” because God was with him. He didn’t need to sense dread and despair, precisely because of the Lord’s presence.

😻 Yirah = a sense of awe, wonder, amazement, and respect.

This is the “fear” with which we need to view God.
We should stand in awe and amazement of what He’s done for us— not anxiety over what He might do if we step out of line.

These two words are very different. And they describe two very different types of leadership.


As such, the way we approach God— and earthly fathers— varies greatly depending upon which definition we apply to the concept of fear.

🙀 If we think respect— which husbands and fathers want— equates with Pechad, we’ll lead in such a way our families constantly live on edge, wondering if we’re pleased with them or not.

😻 If, on the other hand, we realize respect better relates to Yirah, we’ll walk in such a way that our wives, our kids, and even strangers are overwhelmed with gratitude and a sense of security simply by our interaction with them. We’ll embody grace in such radical ways people will consistently find themselves amazed.


One weekend a friend of mine preached a sermon based on Psalm 128, where he outlined 3 results of the right kind of fear— three results of creating a culture of “yirah.”

Blessings flow from work…

They flow with the spouse…

And even the kids…



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