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Fred demonstrated a deep reverence for God. His upbringing in the home of a Southern Baptist preacher gave him a Scriptural foundation which was enhanced by his personal relationship through Jesus. He and Mary Alice instilled great respect for the things of God into their three children.

May is the month of graduation. It is a time to pray for the students, faculty, and staff members of our colleges. We especially remember those who have hosted a Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute event: Houston Baptist University, Dallas Baptist University, Lindsey Wilson College, Alice Lloyd College, Emmaus Bible College, LeTourneau University, Asbury University, East Texas Baptist University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and Taylor University. May these graduates take the power of God throughout the world changing lives and workplaces.

Reverence

I was once known as the man who did “crooked thinking on the straight and narrow.” I guess I did “out of the box thinking” before that concept was even created. In this light, I want to offer a verse which seems strange as a basis for reverence: “How can you say you love God you haven’t seen if you don’t love your brother you have seen?”

Here’s the Smith take on this verse. How can you revere the Creator if you don’t revere His creation? I hear speakers pontificate about reverence for the God then turn around and totally disrespect those He created.

One night I was visiting with Norman Cousins. He told me about a visit to Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Lamberene. As they walked up the hill to his modest house, a hen and her little chicks walked in front of them. Dr. Schweitzer took off his hat, bowed, and said, “Congratulations, my dear, I didn’t know it would be so soon.” His reverence for God’s creatures is great cause for admiration.

We can easily say we revere God, yet selfishly use people and condemn them to hell with self-righteous satisfaction. I am dismayed by those who deny the love of God while speaking pious words of religiosity.

We live in a fallen world, but we are still called to have reverence for what God has made. When we look at others as cohabitators of God’s world instead of competitors, our perspective changes.

I have to remind myself of this every morning on the freeway! Sometimes I take my own advice seriously enough to make a resolution to do one favor for another motorist on the way to the office. I find when I pause and let somebody in line without blowing my horn; it affects how I feel when I get to the office.

Reverence for my fellow human beings renews my spirit. It works both ways: reverence for the created is incomplete unless I reach out in reverence to the Creator. I noticed on the cover of Harvard magazine a statement about DNA’s being the most important “invention since we rose from the murky waters.” I felt rather sad they couldn’t see anything or anyone beyond the murky waters. Believing in God’s creation lends so much more dignity and reverence for life.

This week think carefully about: 1) How do I demonstrate my reverence for God? 2) Where can I improve my reverence for others? 3) When do I experience true joy in reverencing God?

Words of Wisdom: “Reverence for my fellow human beings renews my spirit.”

Wisdom from the Word: “and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  (Ephesians 5:21 NET Bible)
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News Line: ••• 5/13/14; When is “enough” actually “enough”? Find out in Brenda A. Smith’s new blog. Click here to read more.
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