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Few people would question that it is right to reverence God. But there is also a great deal of peace and strength in realizing that giving honor to God is the highest and best activity in life. When we show the proper respect for God, we are doing the very thing we were created for. We find our destiny and our fulfillment in the glory of God.
Solomon made this observation: "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Eccl. 12:13,14). The reverent, obedient seeking of God's honor is the very essence of what it means to be a being created in the image of God. This is what we were made for, and when we do this we are experiencing the very goal of our existence. Nothing we can do has any higher purpose than the glorification of God.
To fail to glorify God is a most serious sin. Nothing we can do is more wrong than to show disrespect to our Creator. And if we're not careful, we can dishonor God even when we say we are worshiping Him. Jesus rebuked certain ones of His day in these words, which had been spoken centuries before to the people of Israel in Isaiah's day: "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Mt. 15:8,9). It is not our prerogative to envision God as we prefer Him to be and then worship Him according to our wishes. God has the right to set the terms of our relationship with Him, and we ought to determine to honor God according to His will and not our own. And there is also this to remember: we know nothing of God's will except what we read of it in His revealed word.
Giving God the reverence and honor that are due Him is a very practical matter. It has to do with the choices we make every day about our thoughts and words and deeds. It has to do with ordinary things, as well as the things that are "religious." Paul wrote, "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Col. 3:17). This week, let's make it our aim to seek God's glory in every one of our actions. To do this is the highest and best way to live life. Truly, it doesn't get any better than this.
Monday: Romans 1:20,21
Key Idea: The very essence of sin is the refusal to glorify God.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to "honor" or "glorify" God? How is it possible to "know" God but not glorify Him or be thankful? Which problem do you think is more widespread in our society: disbelief in God or disobedience by those who do believe?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:20.
Tuesday: Proverbs 9:10
Key Idea: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Questions for Family Growth: What kind of "fear" does Solomon refer to in this passage? What are some words that would describe the opposite of this fear? How is the fear of God the "beginning of wisdom"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:21.
Wednesday: Hebrews 12:28,29
Key Idea: We should serve God with reverence and godly fear.
Questions for Family Growth: What is the "kingdom" of which the writer speaks? Why are reverence and godly fear (or "awe") so important in offering to God "acceptable worship"? Is it possible to serve God unacceptably? What would be some examples? Consider Mal. 1:9-11.
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:22.
Thursday: Ecclesiastes 12:13,14
Key Idea: We were created to find our fulfillment in God's glory.
Questions for Family Growth: What is the "matter" of which the writer speaks when he says, "the end of the matter"? Can you think of other texts in the Bible which speak of the ultimate purpose or meaning of our lives? What did Jesus say about our lives in Mt. 16:26?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:23.
Friday: Malachi 3:16-18
Key Idea: Reverence for God will lead us to God's glory in eternity.
Questions for Family Growth: What is the "book of remembrance" written of those who feared the Lord and esteemed His name? What is said in v.17 about those who have shown true reverence to God? What promise is given in 4:2 to those who "fear my name"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:24.