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If you just had a few moments to call out a warning to people you love, what would you say and how would you say it? What would you be willing to risk? If you knew that the warning would be scoffed at and ignored, would you still give it? I ask you to consider these questions and more in a series called, “The Three.”

In the last letter of the Bible, there’s a lot of symbolism; a story being told with vivid imagery. In that letter we find an urgent message in Revelation 14:6-11.

As we consider the loud cry of the first angel, we hear the invitation: Give glory to God. Giving glory flows from giving God respect.

Why should we respect God? Because he said so: God said it so I believe it! Does God want blind obedience? He’s God and that demands respect but can you demand respect? The thing is these characteristics are part of Satan’s methods. God forces no one to love or worship him.

In the Bible, there is what I like to call the lovingkindness principle. God initiates a relationship with us by demonstrating his lovingkindness for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. What do we do? We respond by loving him back and in that love there is respect, reverence, and repentance. What happens when we love God back? We’ve engaged with him so he is able to pour out even more lovingkindness on us which inspires us to respond even more and so on.

When we embrace God’s love and begin to live in his grace – we are respecting him – giving glory will flow out from us naturally, almost unconsciously. The irony is, trying to give God glory without being completely grounded in God’s love and grace will eventually degrade into works righteousness – a position that makes us think God owes us.

Are you living in the stream of God’s lovingkindness?