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