Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Daily Challenge - July 12 - Honor and Respect

1 Peter 3:15 - But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

There seems to have been a shift in the last generation or so in how people think of and relate to Jesus Christ. A common view is to see him as our brother and our friend. Some look to him as our mediator and savior, but neglect to recognize him as Lord. I have often heard people begin their prayers with "Hey Jesus, it's me." or "What's up Jesus." Perhaps this is an attempt to display intimate fellowship with Jesus, but I believe that intimate fellowship needs to be approached a different way. Intimacy and respect are not mutually exclusive. If you look at the way in which Christ addressed God the Father, it was always with the utmost respect and reverence. In the same way, we are to not only revere God the Father, but also God the Son.

In 1 Peter 3:15, Jesus is addressed in two different ways. First, he is addressed as Christ. This refers to his title as the Anointed Messiah, or the expected Jewish deliverer. The second title given to him is Lord. Here it is used definitively, therefore, indicating him as the Lord God. Our response to him is to therefore regard and declare him as holy. The place where this is to occur is in our hearts. Peter is writing this to help the believers at a time fear of persecution. Therefore, the believers' response is that they should recognize who Jesus is and regard him with holy fear in order to drive out their current fears and give response to those who question them about their faith (Peters, 187).

We can apply this verse in how we approach Christ in our own lives. We must acknowledge who he is. We cannot simply see him as a tool by which to get to heaven and use him accordingly. When we recognize Jesus for who he is, we cannot help but be humbled by his majesty.

The Challenge today is to spend some time reflecting on who Jesus is. For a listing of all the names and attributes of Jesus click here. Take some time to revere him as holy and give him the honor that he deserves.

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