Fear and respect can be aspects of reverence. It means taking God seriously. It means, primarily, loving Him. We respect those whom we love. We take them seriously. They are important to us. The author of Malachi writes:

And you will know that I have sent you this admonition so that my covenant with Levi may continue,” says the LORD Almighty. “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.

“For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction– because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty. (Mal 2:4-7)


Gratitude grows out of a lack of expectations, a lack of entitlement, so that there is joy in anything that someone else does for you. Dissapointment comes as a consequence of having expectations. Anger comes from the failure of expectations being met. You expected your loved one to remember your birthday. He didn’t. So now you’re angry; how rude, how thoughtless. Or he didn’t get you what you were hoping to get. Lack of gratitude grows from having expectations, making demands on someone else. Gratitude grows when you don’t have those expectations.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col 3:16-17)


Servitude means focusing on the other, without thought of self. Paul writes, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Gal 5:13-14)
In speaking of leadership, Jesus describes it as servitude:
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mat 20:25-28)

This understanding of leadership has an impact on how leadership works in the church and in the family.


Recognizing that God knows what he is doing, and so whatever happens, it must be because it will in some way benefit God and others and self in the long run. Suffering is part of life; it is inevitable. The question is how we will respond to it. Peter wrote, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:12)

How are these attitudes accomplished?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Gal 5:22-26)

But notice that those verses are preceded and contextualized with this:

The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Gal: 5:14)

Love remains the foundation for all of this.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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