We can’t give proper praise to someone or something that we do not have complete confidence in, praise is honor due, respect granted. Now, in the book of Romans in verse 2:11, “For there is no respect of persons with God” means ‘favoritism’, God shows no special partiality to anyone, for all who call His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ Savior, are His children. In the “Merriam-Webster” dictionary the word can be used for “high or special regard, to esteem”, and in the “American Dictionary of the English Language Noah Webster 1828” “The estimation or honor in which men hold the distinguished worth or substantial good qualities of others.”
In other words, the individuals in the world who are the recipients of the word ‘respect’ have either done or earned by some merit of their own the award of the title respect. Now, if you are a believer reading these words, you full well understand that there is only one who this title can be bestowed upon, our Lord Jesus Christ, yet there are those in the Scriptures that we can well esteem, Paul, Moses, Noah, and many others, and if you do even just a cursory reading of Hebrews chapter 11, you will see names that God Himself decided to add to His Holy Word. Yet notice what all these individuals had in common; “by faith’, “through faith” each one’s trust, each of these people had one thing in common, respect only for the one who granted them a measure of faith, (Rom.12:3) respect for Him who “all things are possible through.” (Matt. 19:26)
In the world we live in today, the word respect has lost nearly all of it’s true meaning, for as the Scripture verse has promised “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil…” (Isaiah 5:20) Participation trophies are given to those that just show up; no matter what lifestyle choices a person makes, all are expected to accommodate them; ‘if it feels good, do it’ is not just a catch phrase today, it is expected that all those that determine to develop a lifestyle that detours from the accepted norm of even what the secular world has set in the past are to be tolerated, and if one does not condone it, they are deemed intolerable. Evil, as God has pronounced it, has become good in the eyes of the world.
Good has become evil, and for those that are willing to stand in the gap, those that profess the Name of Christ as Savior and redeemer, are not just frowned upon as “old-fuddy-duddies” anymore, not just a religious sect that has different outdated moral values, but as those that are a deterrent to the respect that these individuals believe they deserve. The Christian is now the target. No longer are those that will not give place to the worlds ideology just to be ridiculed and made fun of, now many are taken to the courts of the land, many are being jailed, many are being physically harmed, some even are dying for their faith. Take some time and look up “The Voice of the Martyrs” website and you will see the incredible faith that some of your brothers and sisters have.
“Respect to whom respect is due, and honor to whom honor is due” (Rom. 13:7) If we do not have a one-hundred percent trust in God in all things He allows to come into our lives, good or bad (in our eyes), we cannot praise Him properly. If you are not praising God, you are not trusting God. The world and those in it are trying to demand respect, and even honor from us, no matter the choices they have made, and fewer and fewer believers are willing to stand up, to stand in the gap. I am not suggesting that you go out and find a cause, what I am saying is that if God decides to put you in a place where you are either forced to stand or flee, the choice is always left up to you. They will demand your respect, and if you stand in the Word of God and His will, it will most likely cost you something. It is at these times we must remember that nothing happens to the child of God that does not pass through the throne of His grace first.
Those who would desire to diligently seek the face of God and to know the mind of Christ, would do well first to learn to praise Him, to give Him the respect and honor that He rightly deserves as the Sovereign Lord of all. Read Ezekiel 22:30 and feel great sorrow, such despair that there was not one, but then ask yourself, and not just as a passing thought, but deep in your very soul, are you sure this is what you really want. When the Lord our God calls, He expects an answer, and even though He knows full well what the response from us will be, we do not. It is at these times He is providing you with an opportunity to serve Him. He is still looking for men who will stand in the breach as Moses did, (Psalm 106:23) men who understand praise is not to begin when the victory comes, but before the battle begins, for the battle is the Lords.
The fear of the Lord is reverential trust, a trust that say’s “no matter the cost”. Almighty God does not only deserve all respect and honor, but He commands it, and rightfully so, for on that last day “every knee shall bow before Him” (Isaiah 45:23) A truly obedient servant gives all love, honor, respect and praise to His Lord, he does not acquiesce to the to the demands that an evil world places on him, he does not submit passively to the worlds standard of what is right today, but to what has always been right, what has always been true, what God has said and commanded.
I envy none of us who have purposed in our hearts to follow the Lord Jesus Christ wherever He leads in this generation, for though “the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11) is a blessing well worth the tribulation and trial, and “perfect love cast out all fear” (1st John 4:18) we are human, and the path that leads to heaven is filled with suffering. (Acts 14:22)
My brothers and sisters in Christ, praise His name, praise Him in times of plenty and in times of nought. Give the Lord your God the praise, respect and honor rightly due Him in a sunny day as well as the darkest night of your soul, for He loves you so much. Stand strong in His power, by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, be a person that all will meet and know that here is a follower of Jesus, here is one who knows the truth, here is one who is willing to give all, even of their life itself, for the one who is praiseworthy.