“An invitation to Love and Honor with God in our Hearts”, from L.Willows (Loving Jesus, Humility, Trusting God)

We have all been challenged, each in our own unique ways to be led to a new understanding of the word respect in our spiritual and life journeys. Respect is a very weighty word. It’s influence is felt in our lives, relationships and in our world. We need be respectful when we honor one another in loving relationships.

Romans 12:20 —“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

According to Vine’s Greek Dictionary the word respect (Noun and Verb) [Verb] apoblepo means “to look away from all else at one object” (apo, “from”), hence, “to look steadfastly”. It is translated “he had respect” in Heb 11:26, AV (RV, “looked”). As a verb, it is epiblepo to look upon” (epi), and is translated “have respect” in James 2:3. From this definition I begin to see that respect is a steadfast gazing upon one thing while attention to the rest is diminished. Surely there are deeper interpretations and commentaries. For a Christian the One Thing is Jesus. It will always be the Gospel and the Law of God in all situations.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

1 Peter 5:5 “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

So regardless of what situation we are walking through, if we want to honor God in our hearts by fixing our gaze upon Him, we need to respect Jesus by looking with steadfastness. That means to be steady and unwavering in our obedience to His Word and trusting in the Promises of God.

If our gaze slips, and in this complex world if does- as soon as our hearts realize that we have lost sight of Him and are not living by the Law of His Promises, we need to get back into the Sight of Him. We reset our gaze and allow what was diminishing our view or viewpoint to become distant. The best way to do that is prayer, confession, repentance and deeply honest longing to restore relationship with God.

John 16:33 ” I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Being seated with God at the Throne because of right relationship is the goal of every Christian. It is the result of a that relationship. It is the cumulative effect of ongoing sanctification as His Beloveds. This is were we find the value of respect. When we live in this way, we become honorable people. It is not an honor that is filled by the world or by worldly means. It is honor that comes from knowing and being filled by the love of Jesus Christ. His Justice is eternal and true. He bestows Kingdom honor, a way of walking with Him, for Him and because of Him that is a cause that precedes all others. One’s heart is altered by the Love of Christ.

While we may face trials and challenges in this life, the invitation to love and honor God is extended to each of us in every moment and throughout our lives. We have the chance to embody Godly Respect by how we speak, how we carry ourselves, how we interact with others and how we express God’s love in our communities. We are not the arbiters of justice or judgement. Only God has that power. We can only gaze at God with all of our hearts and saturate ourselves with His word and His Promises walking forward.

Romans 13:1 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”

When we trust Him, we respect him. We give God our complete gaze. The eyes of our hearts are fully upon Him. The clamor of the world weakens in it’s ability to distract or sway the heart and mind. This is true discipleship. Jesus said “Follow me”. This is how we follow.

John 3:16-17 ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

I respectfully gaze at that with my heart. I give my heart to that right now and allow everything else to fall aside. The Lord, my Shepherd draws me forward lovingly. He draws each of you as well. Let’s follow Him.

© 2020 Linda Willows

“Exceedingly Great and Precious Promises” from Bob Hoekstra’s Day by Day


Exceedingly Great and Precious Promises
from Bob Hoekstra Bob Hoekstra’s Day by Day Grace
By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises…And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (2 Peter 1:4 and Matthew 4:19)

As we have seen, faith is the proper response to the promises of God. Let us now return to individual consideration of God’s wonderful promises. They are so wonderful that the Scriptures describe them as “exceedingly great and precious.” The promises of God (which are deserving of our trust) are “exceedingly great.” They are far beyond magnificent. The Greek root behind this phrase provides the English prefix, “mega” (as in “mega-bomb” or “mega-celebrity”). The promises of God are also “precious.” They are priceless. They are beyond what any human or temporal treasure could ever secure.

One of God’s “exceedingly great and precious promises” is linked to Jesus’ call to discipleship. This call was an invitation to come and pursue after Him. “And He said to them, ‘Follow Me.'” The Lord Jesus wants people to develop a life with Him. He wants us to build a relationship with Him. For all who will humbly focus their days on earth in a quest after Him, Jesus makes this magnificent promise. “I will make you.” As we follow after Him, we can count on His fulfilling the promise to remake us. These men He addressed were “fishers of fish.” Jesus promised to make them “fishers of men.” “From now on you will catch men” (Luke 5:10).

The critical point is that Jesus would be the one changing these men. In this situation, He speaks of changing them from those who caught fish (for a temporal fishing business) to those who would catch men (for the eternal kingdom of God). Yet, in every situation, He is the one to rely upon for a changed life. It is amazing what people (even believers in Jesus Christ) will do to try to change their lives. They will sign up for every new program that comes through town (or is offered over national television). They will commit themselves to years of humanistic, speculative therapy. They will follow gurus to every continent on earth. They will even make endless lists of promises to God to do better or try harder. Yet, all of this is to no avail. God’s plan for transformation of life is to believe in His promise. “I will make you.” God wants to be the cause that produces the effect of a transformed life. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:10).

Yes, by the grace of God, transformation of life is available by faith in the promises of God. If we are willing to humbly pursue after a developing relationship with the Lord of life, He promises to make us into what He wants us to be.

Lord Jesus, thank You for being so patient with me through all my futile attempts to change myself. Please remind me daily to seek after You, knowing that I can count on You to be transforming me into what You want me to be, Amen.

1 John 3 “Let the little children come to me…” ~We are all children of God; we find our way to His Heart of Love.

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Luke 18:15-29
Let the little children come to me

Now some people were even bringing their infants to Jesus to have him touch them. But when the disciples saw this, they sternly told the people not to do that. Jesus, however, called for the children and said, “Let the little children come to me, and stop keeping them away, because the kingdom of God belongs to people like these. I tell all of you with certainty, whoever doesn’t receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never get into it at all.” Then an official asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Nobody is good except for one God. You know the commandments: “Never commit adultery. Never murder. Never steal. Never give false testimony. Honor your father and mother.'”
The official replied, “I have kept all of these since I was a young man.” When Jesus heard this, he told him, “You still need to do one thing. Sell everything you have and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me.” But when the official heard this he became sad, because he was very rich. So when Jesus saw how sad he was, he said, “How hard it is for rich people to get into the kingdom of God! Indeed, it’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God.” Those who were listening to Jesus asked, “Then who can be saved?”
Jesus replied, “The things that are impossible for people are possible for God.”
Then Peter said, “See, we have left everything we have and followed you.”
Jesus told them, “I tell all of you with certainty, there is no one who has left his home, wife, brothers, parents, or children because of the kingdom of God who will not receive many times as much in this world, as well as eternal life in the age to come.”