May 06, 2015

Father Respect

Psalm 34:8-11

Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

—  Psalm 34:11

Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” The Hebrew word for “fear” in this expression refers to a loving reverence and awe of God, coupled with a willingness to obey him, knowing that he always wants what is best for us. Our relationship with the Lord is built not on terror but on appropriate respect and awe for our Father. A healthy respect and understanding of God as loving Creator, faithful Lord, and righteous Judge is the foundation of wisdom. (See also Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7.)

People who lack reverence for God are like children who do not honor their parents. They throw a tantrum to try to manipulate God into giving them what they want. When that fails, they storm off defiantly to do their own thing, ignoring the wisdom and authority of their Father God. Of course, we are all inclined toward such childish rebellion.

On the cross Jesus paid for our sin of dishonoring God. And when we accept the gift of his death for our sin, we enter into a new and intimate relationship with the Father.

But God is not our pal. He cannot be outsmarted, used, or tricked. God is the Creator of the universe, infinite, eternal, and all knowing. The very essence of his being, though, is love (1 John 4:8). Are you growing to know your loving Father?

Help us, Father, to grow in our appreciation and honor of you. May we never lose respect for you as our Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Rob Jansons

Rob Jansons is the pastor of New Hope Fellowship in Monroe, Washington, where he has served for almost twenty years. He and his wife, Sue, have been married since 1989 and have three daughters. Rob spends time each year in Calcutta, India, working with a Christian ministry to children living in slums. He enjoys hiking in the Pacific Northwest, camping with his family, reading, writing, and being a pastor.

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