The writer of Hebrews urged readers to ”. . . have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12:28). The Greek word for reverence signifies, first of all, caution, then godly fear. One English dictionary tells us it is “profound respect mingled with fear and affection.”
In order to serve God acceptably, we must do so with reverence. Therefore, we must understand how reverence is produced and maintained.
It is an internal trait. It comes from within us. And, it cannot be produced until one recognizes who God is and why He deserves such profound respect. When one understands God’s absolute perfection and complete excellence, he will want to give Him the honor He deserves.
While reverence begins within us, it is expressed outwardly. Living a life that is constantly aware of His omnipresence will cause conduct that is determined to show devotion and like those pictured in Rev. 7:15, “. . . serve Him day and night . . .” Reverence is not just a once-a-week (Sunday) matter.
A reverent person will show profound respect for the name of God. Psalm111:9is correct, “Holy and awesome is His name.” God expects His name to be respected. Israel was warned, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain” (Ex.20:7). Sadly, many today are like those in Rom. 3:14, with mouths “full of cursing.” A holy name should never be used in a profane way.
Our worship services should reflect our reverence for God. Out attitude ought to be like that found in Ps. 89:7, “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.” Each activity within the service should manifest a reverent attitude. Thoughtful, careful, concentration will show respect for the One we revere.
Walk before God in awe. Speak His name with caution. Worship Him with profound respect. And, remember the verse that follows Heb. 12:28, “For our God is a consuming fire.”