Summary: A closer look at what reverence is and how we can better show reverence to God.

The Many Aspects of Reverence


Rev. Bruce A. Shields

I. What is reverence?

a) Defined

We have heard reverence for God defined a few times over the past few days. Each definition correct, but slightly differing.

The topic of reverence cannot be found in;

The Moody Handbook of Theology

Halley’s Bible Handbook

Smith’s Bible Dictionary

The Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible

The general understanding of why this is, states that as a society advances through the ages, its reverence for a higher power diminishes.

Reverence can be closer translated to our word “respect”

Jesus warned us of this diminishing “respect” in His parable of the “tenants”.

The Parable of the Tenants

33"Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. 34When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.

35"The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37Last of all, he sent his son to them. ’They will respect my son,’ he said.

38"But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ’This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40"Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?"

41"He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."

42Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures:

" ’The stone the builders rejected

has become the capstone[h];

the Lord has done this,

and it is marvelous in our eyes’[i]?

43"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed."[j]

b) Application

The application is simple here.

God created all, and it was good.

He gave it to mankind, who in turn did not “respect” the landowner.

So the landowner sent men, prophets. But they were killed.

So he sent more, but the same thing happened.

So he sent his son saying, “they will respect my son.”

But they did not.

God’s kingdom is like this vineyard.

It is reserved for those who respect, or show reverence to, the owner, God.

It is given to those who will not only show reverence to the owner, but PAY TRIBUTE WHEN THE VINYARD PRODUCES FRUIT.

This is tithing to the Lord.

Because it is HIS, and He is to be respected in the way HE SAYS.

What happened when Cain wanted to show reverence to God in his way, on his terms.

God was not pleased with him.

So when we show respect to God, it has to be on His terms.

II. Why should we have reverence for God?

Like the parable teaches, we are just renters. Everything belongs to Him!

But there is more than that.

a) Children of God / His namesake

We are to show our Father in heaven respect as our Father, and as His children.

Some come to church praying “our Father in Heaven” on Sunday, then live the rest of the week as if they are orphans.

b) Representatives of the Kingdom

Another reason we are to show our respect to God is because we represent the Kingdom of God!

We are walking testaments of God Himself!

In everything we say and do, we are representing the kingdom of God, whether it was good or bad.

Are we showing our respect to God in the way we act and talk?

Are we properly representing God and His Kingdom?

c) God tells us why we are to respect or have reverence for Him in Job

Job 38:1 – 41:34

III. How do we show reverence to God?

John 14:21- Jesus Says;

”Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

John 15:10- Jesus Says;

“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”

John 5:2-4

“2This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”

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