God Is To Be Held In Reverence
The word “Reverence” expresses the attitude we must have toward God Himself. “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” (Psalms 89:7) The most holy person should tremble in the presence of the Almighty God. God is to be “had in reverence of all them that are about him.” Reverence is a strong sentiment of respect and adoration that we hold toward God. It is no wonder that we pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matthew 6:9) To reverence God means to show loving respect for Him and His Word. Our worship and service to God is to be offered with great fear and reverence. Habakkuk said, "But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.” (Habakkuk 2:20) Our reverence for God is demonstrated by our actions. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” (Hebrews 12:28) The Psalmist said, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” (Psalms 111:10) What this scripture means is that a “profound reverence” for the one true God is the beginning of wisdom. God is expecting full submission and careful obedience on the part of all who would draw near to Him and seek to glorify Him. Those who would please Him must learn to reverence Him with godly fear and loving obedience.
Reverence God our Great Heavenly Father. We should reverence God because our God has blessed us so abundantly. “Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:17) God has been so good to us by giving us so many good and perfect gifts. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) All of humanity should bow in humble, thankfulness and adoration because of God's goodness. “Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24) We should likewise reverence God because He is a consuming fire and we are accountable to Him. “For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:29) We are responsible for reverence in behavior in life and also when we assemble for worship. Nothing is hidden from the eyes of God and He deserves our reverence in everything. “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13)
Have we lost reverence or awe for the Almighty God? When we grow in maturity in the Christian life, we will naturally show more reverence and respect for God. This mindset of reverence must show itself in every aspect of daily life. The Bible clearly states that we are to show reverence to God and to the things that represent His person and presence. Biblical reverence is seen as we honor God with our firstfruits. “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.” (Proverbs 3:9) Many people have things reversed in their lives. They honor self with the firstfruits and give God the scraps. Biblical reverence is seen in the way that we dress. Our dress code must be controlled by reverent, respect for the Almighty God. The loss of reverence in our day is seen in the way people dress for worship. Many dress better for school, work, funerals or other occasions than they do when they assemble to worship God. Biblical reverence is seen in the way that we talk. It makes no sense to claim to honor God and then your speech be everything but Christian. Some Christians gossip, nag, curse and speak unkind and hurtful words. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21) Christians must be careful about their speech. “Study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11) Our words should be carefully chosen words that build up and help the cause of Christ. Let us use "Sound speech, that cannot be condemned." (Titus 2:8)
What motivates us to reverence God? Love for God with all your heart, soul and mind will motivate reverence both in worship and in life. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40) Our reverence for God causes us to never want to disappoint Him. A desire to get the most from the service and grow as a Christian will cause us to be reverent in the worship services and to live in reverence also. Our hope of the heavenly reward motivates us to reverence. “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:4) Reverence fills our heart with hope. “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Romans 8:24-25) The threat of punishment motivates us to reverence God. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10) Let us know how truly great God is and how truly worthy of our reverence He is and “fear Him.” Our love for God causes us to reverence or fear Him, and it also causes us to “keep His commandments. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
Those who reverence the Lord have become Christians and they serve Him faithfully. You have only a short time on earth to honor the Lord Jesus. It is time to become a Christian now! To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Acts 8:37), and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) After baptism follow Jesus in faithfulness as He leads you home to heaven. (Revelation 2:10) Preparation time will end quickly. The opportunity for reverencing God, serving others and doing good to them will end in a brief moment. We must be constantly "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2) “Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.” (Proverbs 28:14)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037