August 31, 2018

R – E – S – P – E – C – T

R-E-S-P-E-C-T...Find out what it means to God

Last week we received the news that Aretha Franklin had passed away. I always enjoyed her music as well as her engaging personality. She also had some small roles in some major motion pictures I liked. My favorite of these parts was the one she played in one of my all-time favorite movies, “The Blues Brothers.” In that movie, you may remember, she plays an owner of a small diner. The scene in that movie where she breaks into her signature song, “RESPECT,” is a classic. Thinking back on it as I write this blog post makes me smile.

Funny thing though, I had never really paid much attention to the lyrics of the song until after the announcement of Aretha’s death. When I looked at the lyrics to RESPECT, I was a bit surprised. Oh sure, there are the trademark 70’s phrases like, “Sock it to me,” in those lyrics, but as I looked further, I realized that this song could be one sung from God to each of us.

In the lines of this catchy music piece there is an underlying sentiment. The message of the song is a simple one; I’ll give you everything I am or have, for just a little, RESPECT!

If you think about it, and I have, I don’t believe it is a far stretch to imagine God singing this song each day to each one of us who claim salvation through the blood of His Son Jesus. Okay, I don’t see God gyrating around the diner in The Blues Brothers movie singing “Sock It To Me,” but I do see Him saying, “I have given you everything. All I want in return, is a little RESPECT!

I know from my own relationship with God that I have often taken for granted what He, His only begotten Son, and His Holy Spirit have done for me. Sadly, I must admit that there have been times in my life when I have totally disrespected God. I am ashamed to admit that, but it is true. After everything that He has given me. After all the miracles that He alone has blessed me with and after all of the sacrifices that He has made for me; I chose to ignore Him and do things to please myself. All He asks from me is a little RESPECT, but way too often, I make decisions that are pleasing for me and disrespectful to my Lord. It is a wonder that He doesn’t just, SOCK IT TO ME!

Throughout scripture, we are advised to, “Fear the Lord our God.” That doesn’t really translate the way we most often think about it. In this context, “fear” means to “honor,” or to stand in “awe” of God. “Honor” and “awe” could easily be translated to RESPECT. We are to RESPECT the Lord our God. In Aretha’s song, “Respect,” she sings “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me…” That might be good advice for each of us today when it comes to our relationship with God. Maybe we should find out what it means to RESPECT God…to HONOR God…and to be in AWE of God. He’s definitely earned it!

It is true that God loves each and every one of us as His children. It is true that God is willing to give us everything we need out of His great love for us. It is also true that God has no problem disciplining His children in an effort to encourage them and direct them to be better people and followers of His Son Jesus. Truth is, sometimes it is our bad choices, and disrespectful decision making towards God that has us feeling like His discipline has really, “Socked It To Us!” But everything in our lives can be turned around in an instant, with just a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T, some Honor, and a bit of Awe for God!

Maybe you will take a moment with me today to show God what He means to us. Please join me in showing the One who loves us enough to make eternity in heaven available to anyone who will just believe in His Son Jesus, a little RESPECT! We all want a little respect, even though we may not really deserve it, but God does! Today, may I suggest that you join me in spending some time with God in prayer, in His word, and allowing Him to have a greater presence in our lives. Tell Him what He means to you and show Him just a little bit of, RESPECT…just a little…ooo…just a little bit, R-E-S-P-E-C-T! I pray we will.

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