Bible, Church, Reverence, Scripture, Worship



“‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?’”

The problem with comparing things is there is always something that is bigger and better. My family has lived in several homes. Each of them had their strengths and well…their weaknesses. We have never been about buying bigger and better. It was more about just meeting our needs. Most of these houses were provided to us as part of my job, so we really could not complain. But there is always that lure of something better, right?

The Israelites were mixed in their emotions about this newly renovated temple. Some of the older people had seen the original temple built by Solomon in all its glory, everything overlaid with gold. Fifty-nine years after its destruction, here they were, looking at an “inferior” temple – or so they thought. They were comparing the old and the new. Why? Because they had their own idea of what the temple should look like, not what it was – the house of God.


Don’t be harsh with them. Their perception was their reality. We are the same, aren’t we? I have heard too many people complain about the color of the carpet in church. Others don’t like the chairs. The pews were holier. The stained glass windows are replaced. How dare they do that! And I haven’t even mentioned the lighting or the sound system.

You see, we also compare our image of what we think church should look like. Don’t get me wrong. I like the stained glass and pews. I prefer a well-lit service and a lower decibel of sound. But it is not about that. We are in God’s house. We don’t go to church to worship a building. We go to church to worship the occupant.

I have probably ruffled some feathers with this post. If I have offended you, I apologize. That was not my intention. I did intend, however, to get you to think. What are you comparing? What is your reason for doing that? God’s house is God’s house, whether it is a tarp with plastic chairs or a cathedral. It’s what happens inside that counts. Next Sunday, go to worship. Don’t just go to church. There’s a big difference.

Father, I worship You, no matter the setting. Help me keep my eyes looking up, not around at my surroundings.

Bible, Majesty, Reverence, Scripture, Worship



“Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, just as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people showed reverence for the LORD.”

You know, as a child the idea of showing reverence is a foreign concept. Do you bow down to someone or something? Are you a slave to them? Just what does it mean? Kids have no clue, but neither do adults, really. We think we do, but we don’t show it. Speaking in King James English does not make you reverent.

The governor, the high priest and the remnant of people finally obeyed the Lord, which led to repentance and the show of reverence. The Hebrew word for “reverence” means to fear or be afraid, to fear. In fact, one translation reads “put in fearful reverence.” After all God’s judgment, they were now ready to show Him reverence.


I do not think any of us know how to truly show God the reverence that is due Him. We try but fall short. Listen to how Proverbs 1:7a uses this word. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” That’s pretty good, isn’t it? As believers, our fear of the Lord isn’t a scary thing. It is a reverent thing. We acknowledge Who He is and who we are not.

Next Sunday, when you go to church (you are going, right?), walk into your place of worship with a new attitude – an attitude of reverence. You don’t have to crawl in with your head bowed, but you should walk in knowing that you are going to be entering into a time of worship. Prepare your heart before you arrive. Confess your sins and be prepared to enter the throne room of heaven.

Reverence! Awe! We get to behold the King. We get to come before the Creator of the universe. We are called His children (read 1 John 1:12). We have the right to worship. And we worship with reverence. We worship with appreciation for all He has done for us. I think that is exactly what the people of Israel were feeling in Haggai 1:12.

We bow down. We lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus.

Battles, Belief, Bible, Blessing, Praise, Rejoicing, Reverence, Scripture, Victors



“Yet I will triumph in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”

That little phrase, “Yet I,” can be translated “as for me.” I kind of like that better. It reminds me of another verse – one from Joshua 24:15. “‘But if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served, which were beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.’” I’ve always loved that verse.

Habakkuk is responding to what he said in the previous verse (read yesterday’s blog entitled “Even If”). If all fails, I will triumph in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. No matter what comes his way, Habakkuk had determined to worship and praise his God. He knew, because God had just spoken through him, that a lot of trials were coming. He still chose to be faithful.


Can we say the same thing in our hearts? Can we say no matter what comes our way that we will worship our King? It’s easy to say that while everything is going well, but when the trials come, that’s another story. I am reminded on James 1:2-4. “2 consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Can you agree with Habakkuk and James? Testing is hard but worthwhile, in the end. As believers, we have the confidence that God is with us and will never desert us. We can honestly say just like Habakkuk, “As for me, I will triumph in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”

As we approach the New Year, you may be writing down some New Year’s Resolutions. I know I have a few written down already. Some people call them goals or even mission statements. Call them what you want, but you won’t find a better one that today’s verse. Make it yours in 2023.

O Father, You are worthy of all praise. I will triumph in You. I will rejoice in You.

Awe, Bible, Holiness, Reverence, Sanctification, Scripture, Worship



“Are You not from time everlasting, LORD, my God, my Holy One? We will not die. You, LORD, have appointed them to deliver judgment; and You, O Rock, have destined them to punish.”

I don’t hold many things as holy. The Bible, of course, is holy. I consider baptism and communion as holy events. I even know some holy people. What does that mean – to be holy? That word in the Greek means to be set apart for a specific purpose. But let’s take a look at the word Habakkuk uses here. It might surprise you.

This title given to God here is one commonly used by another prophet, Isaiah. Just look at some of the times it is used by him. Isaiah 1:4; 5:19, 24; 6:3; 10:20; 12:6; 17:7; 29:19; 30:11-12, 15; 31:1. Wow! And that is only a few. Do you get the picture. This title is important. The Hebrew word means sacred. Habakkuk wants to start by addressing God in holiness and awe.


We have lost that sense of awe when addressing God. In the attempt to make Him personal, which He is, we have forgotten that He is also a holy God, deserving of all our reverence and worship. How we show that I believe is important. Why? Because the world is watching us.

You would be hard pressed to find a preacher in an U.S. pulpit wearing a suit and tie today. But that same preacher will don that attire when conducting a funeral. Why? We are showing respect in the wrong places. Now, let me quickly say that what you wear to church does not make you holy. But how you present yourself to others, I think, shows Who you hold as holy.

Some churches on Sunday mornings could pass for night clubs with the decibel level of the music and the darkness of the rooms. I know I am meddling today. But I so desire for us to return to a spirit of holiness and reverence for our God. Don’t allow the world’s influence to creep into your worship. Stay holy!

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty. I want to cry holy.