Respect, Love, Follow

Today we look at Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (KJV) Our greatest calling is wrapped up in this verse. We are called to fear God and keep His commandments. My husband and I were talking about this and he gave me some pointers about the process of doing what this verse says.

We are to first, fear God. Now, that doesn’t mean we are to be afraid of God, no, the word fear, in this case, means respect. We are to have a deep, holy, respect for God, a feeling of honor that is due Him because He IS God. He created us, He loves us, He desires a relationship with us, and we are created to worship Him. The Ten Commandments begin with this idea, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” (Exodus 20: 3-7 NIV) Each commandment listed here is dealing with our relationship with God. Each commandment shows holy respect for God.

Respect for Him leads to love for Him. When we respect someone, we develop a love for that person, the same with the Lord. We cannot love someone we don’t respect, and because He loves us already, we love Him. “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 ESV) We love Him because of who He is, we love Him because He is faithful, and we love Him because He keeps His promises. “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” (Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV) We also love Him because of His sacrifice. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV)

Because He loves us and keeps His promises (His covenant) we want to be obedient to His Word and follow His leading. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3 ESV) We follow His commands because we trust Him. We know that He will never lead us into something that would ultimately be for our harm. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV) As we are obedient to His leading, He blesses us more than we could ever imagine. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” (Ephesians 3:20 KJV) His blessings are our reward for our obedience. He loves us!

Respect for God leads to our love for God, which leads to our desire to follow His leading and be obedient to His commands. We then are accomplishing the great calling God has placed on our lives.

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