What Does Your T-Shirt Say?
We see t-shirts telling us “Just Do It” and “No Fear.” We read bumper stickers that question and mock authority. Every day, television programs encouraging disrespect and rebellion. Movies trivialize God and make fun of Christians. The news is filled daily with drastic evidence of rebellion through abortion, physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, legalizing marijuana, and murder. Sadly, these are all signs of our times.
Because of our me-centered nature, the need to be in charge starts to control our minds. It bleeds insidiously into every nook and cranny of our daily motives, pursuits, and decisions. Satan certainly wants to push that me-centered mentality, and we get sucked into his strategies and traps so easily. We’ve lost sight of the only real authority worthy of our respect and reverence as we pursue being the all-knowing one, protecting our needs and comfort above all else, insisting that our agendas turn the course of events.
Respect, reverence, and fear have become offensive words in our society. A lack of concern and respect for each other or for those in authority have led to disorganization, relativism, devaluing, rebellion, immorality, hatred, and even bloodshed. This lack of respect for mankind combined with other distorted attitudes about people and life is traced to a lack of knowledge about God and a lack of true reverence for Him. To reverence the Lord means not only treating God and His message with awe and wonder, but also having a fear of being out of His will and not having His protection, guidance, and blessings.
What are some ways we can show our respect and reverence for God? Noah did it by persevering in obedience for 100 years, building an ark amid very difficult circumstances. The lives of Joseph and Daniel are great testimonies of reverence and respect for God when it would have been “easier” to cave in to another master. On the other hand, we can be like Jonah, and run the other way when God’s plan doesn’t match the one we contrived with our finite wisdom and minimal planning.
Today, begin to put God first in your life … to have regular devotional times with Him … to live your day-to-day life in a way that honors Him. In the activities of this day, are you respecting and honoring God’s provision, authority, and instruction for your life? Each of us can define one area of life in which we are not honoring Him. Dissect it a bit today. Why are you ignoring His instruction and going in the other direction? Make one small change in your strategy and see what happens. People who don’t know Jesus often judge Him by what they see in His followers. What do they learn about Jesus from your life? Whether you wear a message of respect and reverence or you wear disrespect and me-first on your t-shirt and in your heart is your decision, so choose well.
My Father and my Lord, it is my desire and goal to please You in everything I do. I know I have fallen short of this goal. Please help me to live in such a way that others will consistently sense Your love, and will want to know You and honor You. Help them see me honoring Your way and experiencing the blessings and fruit it brings me so that they yearn for You. Help me confess aloud when I do wrong to someone, so they see what Your way really is. I pray this and all prayers through your Son and my savior, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism. Colossians 3:22-25
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20
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