Respect

Respect the Lord and be humble. Then you will have wealth, honor, and true life. (Proverbs 22:4)

If you have wondered what it takes to live a "blessed life", then you have to look no further than the examples we find in scripture. Yes, there is a whole lot of tragedy and suffering recorded in those pages, but all are written so we can live a blessed life. We are to learn much from our suffering - to be made stronger and grow in our relationship with Jesus and others. A blessed life is one in which the Lord receives the right placement and the right honor. When we are humble enough to acknowledge we have need of the Savior's oversight and work in our lives, we begin the journey toward true blessing. As long as we hold onto the reins of our lives, we won't realize the blessing of being in his protective care. It is much more work to hold on than it is to let go. As "hard" as we may think it is to "let go" of those reins, it is much, much harder to hold so tightly to them when the world around us is spinning in every direction!

- Appreciate God - we are to give him the place of the highest of regard in our lives. This means we do more than place him on a pedestal as some "thing" we worship, but rather we give him the prominent place in our lives. Imagine for a moment that the prime minister, highest government official, or President of your country announced he was going to take supper at your home next Monday and you had the time to prepare for his visit to your home, what would you do? I imagine you'd clean up the place, buy a few luxurious delicacies, and then ensure the nicest of meals was placed before him that night. Why? To show him honor or regard for his position. When we appreciate the position of Christ in our lives, we are acknowledging he holds the most prominent and influential position.

- Give him awe. The opposite of awe is none other than apathy. The opposite of apathy is passion, emotional investment, and excitement. Respecting the Lord brings into our lives a certain passion - because we begin to pour ourselves into the pursuit of the good things. At first, the relationship is definitely one of what we can imagine we will "get out of it", but in time, the relationship begins to turn to what we can "give back into it". We move from a place of "bless me, God" to a place of "God, make me a blessing". In essence, we are moving into a place of passion and excitement - a place where God can begin to use us. There is no greater honor or respect we can give him than to be of use to him in his kingdom!

- Recognize his presence. Give admittance to him so that we might learn to understand his ways and his movements. Whenever we let someone into our lives, don't we become more familiar with how they act, what they mean when they say something, how and where they move? Recognition of God's activity in and around us is a way of showing him respect. It is us taking notice of him which begins many a great work within us. Just sayin!

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