Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

God Expects Respect

Colossians 3:18-4:18 One of the major problems with youth in our culture today is their lack of respect for parents and teachers. Our son Ron wanted to be a teacher of chemistry in high school. He finished his degree at Georgia Tech and then began his practice teaching at a high school in an exclusive neighborhood. He experienced such a great lack of respect from his students that he decided not to finish his practice teaching. Later Ron had the opportunity to teach in China, and the students respected and honored him. He loved teaching in China, and he plans to return.

The trouble with our nation today is the lack of the fear of the Lord. God has been reduced to a Santa Claus-type image who never would chasten us if we are bad. Some people say "the fear of the Lord" is simply honoring and standing in awe of God. The fear of the Lord is much more than this. God has not changed. He deals with us with judgment and mercy. He still judges nations, and if a nation falls completely from their belief in Him, such nations will be reduced in their power and influence in the world. We should be fearful of disobeying God because disobedience will always bring consequences that are not pleasant.

We will be judged according to the works we did on earth. If we are saved, we will not be disqualified from eternal life, but we may be disqualified from many of the rewards in heaven. We should tremble at the Word of God instead of looking at the Word as a name-it-claim-it book of promises. God's Word is filled with promises, but most of these promises have conditions we must fulfill. One of the main conditions we must fulfill before we can claim the promises of God is to honor and obey God. Just as students will learn nothing in the classroom if they are rebellious and disobedient, we will learn nothing in the school of life if we are rebellious and disobedient. In the end we will fail at life and no one wants to fail.

Our passage in Colossians exhorts us to do the following: "And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality" (Col. 3:23-25).

Because God is no respecter of persons, we should respect and honor Him daily in both our words and deeds. God expects respect, and we should teach our children to respect and honor Him with their actions and words. The fear of the Lord is taught, not caught. I am afraid many of us have failed to teach the fear of the Lord to our children, and we are reaping what we have sown.

Lord, help me to live daily in the fear of You.

READ: Jeremiah 10:1-11:23; Colossians 3:18-4:18; Psalm 78:59-72; Proverbs 24:28-29

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