Aretha Franklin sang about it in her song..”R..E..S..P..E..C..T..Find out what that means to me!” We use it in everyday language and hardly a day passes when we do not exhibit some form of respect. It may be shown to a teacher, co-worker, parent, or friend. It may be shown to a member of the military or police. It may even be shown to an inanimate object such as a flag.
Like love, we know what respect is when we see it, but how does one define it? And most importantly what does it mean to respect God?
Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?
When the Bible uses the word respect, it means to revere or regard. How is respect shown? As the Holy Spirit reminds us in this passage from Hebrews, if we respect our earthly and human fathers, how much more should we respect our Father God, in Heaven? To better understand how this respect can be given, we need to examine some ways that we can show respect to a person. Respect is a state or condition but it is often used as a verb. It implies a willful action or response as illustrated by the following examples:
1. Have confidence in the person, that what he says he will do, he will perform; it is a person who keeps their promises.
2. Esteem and admire the attributes and qualities of the person.
3. Honor and show deference to the person
Each of these ways that respect can be shown to another can be applied to God. Only He is worthy of our total respect.
1. Having confidence in God
...and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
2. Esteem and admire the attributes of God
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
3. Honor and show deference to God
From the rising of the sun to its going down, The Lord's name is to be praised. The Lord is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, Who dwells on high..
It is possible to respect a person but not necessarily love them. However, it is not possible to love a person and not respect them. But if we allow ourselves to be totally surrendered to God, anyone can be loved and respected with the agape love that God loves us. With God, love and respect cannot ever be separated. His promises to us, as revealed through the Bible, are explicit and demand a response. And if we accept His offer of salvation, it means we both love and respect Him. Jesus Christ is worthy of our love and respect because He is both Lord and Savior. He is our Lord who demands our respect and obedience and He is our Savior who, through the greatest act of love that this universe has ever seen, gave His life for us so that we may be reconciled to God because of our sins.
Love and respect the Lord; seek His will in your life.