“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

“God’s Lullaby”, a worship poem from L.Willows (God’s Love, Grace, Home in God)

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Our pastor (Pastor Tom Holliday) said that “God speaks to us in a lullaby” meaning that He draws near to us with such abounding grace, forgiveness, and generous love that we almost can’t fathom it with our mortal hearts. After a tender sermon on John 3:16-21, my heart felt full. I feel the lullaby. I am aware that these are not easy days for many people, for many readers. We can be encouraged by listening for the hope that comes from Our Lord Jesus Christ. (August 08.2019)

God’s Lullaby

The lullaby comes near to us
softly, sweetly in life’s hush;
like a stream that runs at dawn
with waters new filled with His song.

Times can burden, trials restrict;
wandering through this haze conflicts.
Yet here we find the miracle of-
in the midst of all, God’s Love, God’s Love.

His Lullaby, in softness intones,
it whispers “Here; here is home.”
We wrap our hearts around, around
Within God’s song, our hearts rebound.

Take our burdens, lift our lives,
Draw us near into ancient hive
Lulled by Love in sweeping dive,
There we hope in sweet revive.

© 2019 Linda Willows

Matthew 11:26-29
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Isaiah 12:2
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

“Running Love’s Joy”, a worship poem from L.Willows (Eternal Hope, Tomorrow, God’s Glory)

Real joy sometimes weeps like waters that fall,
mountains streams seeking homes of new blue
rushing toward freedom that holds it’s true keep,
running love towards the source of joy’s reap.

Real joy sometimes lingers like the afternoon sun
wise and patient, slow, in love’s glow.
It sees golden glory through all the clouds,
it tells of God’s Story, the enduring enshroud.

Real joy sometimes races like a child in games glee
wandering, wondering, filled with such hope.
There we see everyone’s longing to be
in the arms of forever, with Tomorrow’s jubilee.

Real joy sometimes keeps its sweetness in the wind,
embracing, effacing, displaying designs-
gusting glad motion; lifting ravine divines.
A gift for us, dancing, Love running through time.

© 2019 Linda Willows

Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

1 Peter 1:8-9 –“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Ezekiel 11:19 – “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.”