Obtaining our Hope in Respect for God

Respect for God

Sunday 10/27/19

Series: Walking the Talk

Message – Obtaining our Hope in Respect for God


Obtaining our Hope in Respect for God

Last week we were looking at how the Holy Spirit initiates and empowers Hope in our lives. We ended with a call to examine our daily lives in terms of wasted time focused upon earthly things.

  • Did you participate?
  • How did you fair?

In my seeking the Lord about our condition in this church, reverence for Him (respect for God) came prominently to mind…and I recalled a time when we did have more respect for God… at least on a superficial level. 

When the Lord in His kindness delivered us from conducting the business of His house in a way which dishonored His clearly stated will & way… the newly appointed eldership wanted to loosen the reins a bit.

Horses, though not always the best of analogy for humans, are stifled and their spirits broken the tighter and more often you pull back on the reins. Breaking a horse is necessary to make it useful for human relationship, but breaking it’s spirit is not good for any creature – much less man!

This congregation had been in a bit of a choke hold almost from its inception and we wanted to deal with you with more of a light hand. So we backed up on things, which head been hard and fast rules.

Overtime these began to manifest in attitudes and outward demeanors which expressed an equally relaxed reverence for God. 

A few of these things included… 

  • Standing during worship 
  • Not clamoring after worship
  • Maintaining a certain fresh awareness of His manifest presence. 

These things are somewhat small if taken individually and not a practiced habit, but taken together and accumulating over time they have developed into a general way of being and doing which dishonor Him. 

As I was seeking God and repenting for this, when a phrase arose in my heart. 

I will be discovered by those who fear me (respect for God) 

This morning when I woke up the Spirit deposited in my heart Psalm 25. So I looked it up and when I arrived at verse 14 guess what I discovered?

Though it uses slightly different words, the message is precisely the same – 

“14  The secret counsel of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He reveals His covenant to them.” [Again, this is referring to a deep, and abiding respect for God]

This week we are continuing where we left off and then discovering how to connect with and build a relationship with the Holy Spirit. 

Our Hope is revealed to us and worked out in us by the Holy Spirit 

Turn to Rom 15:13, 

May God, the giver of hope, fill you with continual joy and peace because you trust in Him–so that you may have abundant hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Rom. 8:1-39, “(1) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus;  (2) for the Spirit’s Law– telling of Life in Christ Jesus–has set me free from the Law that deals only with sin and death.  (3) For what was impossible to the Law–powerless as it was because it acted through frail humanity–God effected. Sending His own Son in a body like that of sinful human nature and as a sacrifice for sin, He pronounced sentence upon sin in human nature;  (4) in order that in our case the requirements of the Law might be fully met. For our lives are regulated not by our earthly, but by our spiritual natures.” 

KJV “After”meaning conformable to the will of the flesh or of the Spirit

“(5)  For if men are controlled by their earthly natures, they give their minds to earthly things. If they are controlled by their spiritual natures, they give their minds to spiritual things.  (6) Because for the mind to be given up to earthly things means death; but for it to be given up to spiritual things means Life and peace. (7) Abandonment to earthly things is a state of enmity to God. Such a mind does not submit to God’s Law, and indeed cannot do so.  (8) And those whose hearts are absorbed in earthly things cannot please God. (9) You, however, are not devoted to earthly, but to spiritual things, if the Spirit of God is really dwelling in you; whereas if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, such a one does not belong to Him.  (10) But if Christ is in you, though your body must die because of sin, yet your spirit has Life because of righteousness. (11) And if the Spirit of Him who raised up Jesus from the dead is dwelling in you, He who raised up Christ from the dead will give Life also to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who dwells in you.  (12) Therefore, brethren, it is not to our lower natures that we are under obligation that we should live by their rule. (13) For if you so live, death is near; but if, through being under the sway of the spirit, you are putting your old bodily habits to death, you will live.”

“(14)  For those who are led by God’s Spirit are, all of them, God’s sons.  

Wuest, more accurately translates this as, “Those who are habitually led by the Holy Spirit of God are God’s mature sons.”

“(15)  You have not for the second time acquired the consciousness of being–a consciousness which fills you with terror. But you have acquired a deep inward conviction of having been adopted as sons–a conviction which prompts us to cry aloud, “Abba! our Father!”  (16) The Spirit Himself bears witness, along with our own spirits, to the fact that we are children of God; (17) and if children, then heirs too–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ; if indeed we are sharers in Christ’s sufferings, in order that we may also be sharers in His glory.  

What is glory here referring to? Maturity in Christ.

“(18)  Why, what we now suffer I count as nothing in comparison with the glory which is soon to be manifested in us.  (19) For all creation, gazing eagerly as if with outstretched neck, is waiting and longing to see the manifestation of the MATURE sons of God.  (20) For the Creation fell into subjection to failure and unreality (not of its own choice, but by the will of Him Who so subjected it). (21) Yet there was always the hope that at last the Creation itself would also be set free from the enslavement to decay so as to enjoy the liberty that will attend the glory of the children of God.  (22) For we know that the whole of Creation is groaning together in the pains of childbirth until this hour. (23) And more than that, we ourselves, though we possess the Spirit as a foretaste and pledge of the glorious future, yet we ourselves inwardly sigh, as we wait and long for open recognition as sons through the deliverance of our bodies.  (24) It is *in hope* that we have been saved. But an object of hope, is such no longer, when it is present to view; for when a man has a thing before his eyes, how can he be said to hope for it? (25) But if we hope for something which we do not see, then we eagerly and patiently wait for it.  

(26)  In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness; for we do not know what prayers to offer nor in what way to offer them. But the Spirit Himself pleads for us in yearnings that can find no words,  (27) and the Searcher of hearts knows what the Spirit’s meaning is, because His intercessions for God’s people are in harmony with God’s will.  

(28)  Now we know that for those who love God all things are working together for good–for those, I mean, whom with deliberate purpose He has called.  (29) For those whom He has known beforehand He has also pre-destined to bear the likeness of His Son, that He might be the Eldest in a vast family of brothers;  (30) and those whom He has pre-destined He also has called; and those whom He has called He has also declared free from guilt; and those whom He has declared free from guilt He has also crowned with glory.”  

So this relationship with and to the Holy Spirit is essential!

The apostles relied upon the Spirit, as did the prophets and elders of the early church.

The Holy Spirit was mentioned regularly in terms of…

  • power
  • boldness to speak
  • direction of life and ministry
  • super-natural gifts
  • revelation
  • assurance
  • encouragement
  • the giving of help and the inner stirring of Godly fear (respect for God) and
  • willingness to submit to God.

So how do we participate in this relationship?

We’ve talked about praying in the Spirit and that is a GREAT and tremendous aid, but there is more…more you can do ON PURPOSE to be and stay united with Him and growing in your steadfast reliance upon Him.

Psa. 46:10,

“(1) For the choir director. A song of the sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.  (2) Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, (3) though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah  (4) There is a river–its streams delight the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High. (5) God is within her; she will not be toppled. God will help her when the morning dawns. (6) Nations rage, kingdoms topple; the earth melts when He lifts His voice.  (7) The LORD of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah (8) Come, see the works of the LORD, who brings devastation on the earth. (9) He makes wars cease throughout the earth. He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces; He burns up the chariots. (10)  Be still –and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.” (11) The LORD of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah”

Be Still to cease, to desist, to let drop, to leave alone, to let go.

Yada it especially signifies knowing what to do or think in general, especially with respect to God

God Bless!

I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.

We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. The fact that you exist… that you are His creation, says you were in His heart, you are His delight!

If you do not know Him, please reach out to us. Give us a call at the number located on every page of this website or use our ‘Contact Us‘ page. We would be deeply honored, if you gave us the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will EVER be mentioned.

If you HAVE been spiritually fed by this ministry and WANT to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but please understand that all the outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been shepherding in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!