Tag Archives: respect

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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So on his way down the mountain after preaching “The Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus was healing and touching the people who pressed in around him.  He was on his way to Peter’s house to have dinner with Peter’s family.  As he entered the town of Capernum, a Roman Captain came up to Jesus in a panic and said, “Master, my servant is sick.  He can’t walk.  He’s in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I’ll come and heal him.”

“Oh no,” said the Captain, “I don’t want to put you to all that trouble.  Just give the order and my servant will be fine.  I’m a man who takes orders and gives orders.  I tell one soldier Go and he goes; to another Come and he comes; to my slave Do This and he does it.”

Shocked and taken aback, Jesus said, “I’ve yet to come across thins kind of simple trust in Israel, the very people who are supposed to know all about God and how he works.  This man is the beginning of many outsiders who will soon be coming from all directions- streaming in from the east, pouring in from the west, sitting down at God’s Kingdom banquet alongside Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Then those who grew up ‘in the faith’ but had no faith will find themselves out in the cold, outsiders to grace and wondering what happened.”

Then Jesus turned to the Captain and said, “Go.  What you believed could happen has happened.”  At that moment his servant became well.

This is the story of a Gentile who had a surprising amount of faith.  This is a man who understood authority.  He knew how to obey commands and how to give commands.  He knew that Jesus had authority over sickness and death.  He believed that Jesus only needed to speak the words and the miracle would occur, he didn’t need to come to the house and touch the sick servant.  This man amazed Jesus with his grasp of the Spiritual Reality of Jesus’s power.

It’s been my experience that people who respect authority themselves, are in turn respected when they carry authority.  We used to tell our youth group kids, “You can’t expect anyone to respect your authority if you don’t respect the authority above YOU.”  Kids who had a hard time showing respect did not make good leaders, no matter how charismatic they were.  As a matter of fact, kids that had a hard time with earthly authority, really struggled with the concept of God’s authority.  (Perhaps the military would have been a good option for those kids to teach them how to respect authority.)

Part of respecting authority requires trusting in your leader and his power.  Is he trustworthy?  Is he powerful?  Then you can trust that he sees the big picture even when your vision is myopic.  Just like the servant doesn’t get to ask the master “why” but he just follows directions- trusting that the master has a plan- so are we to trust our Master.  Jesus is the Master of more authority than anyone on earth has ever wielded, and yet we still doubt his power to help us when we pray.  That shows that we don’t understand authority, and likely we aren’t very good at respecting the human authorities God has placed over us either.

Today, try to set aside all the other imagery about Jesus that you have accumulated in your mind.  Just for today, when you think of Jesus, I want you to focus in on the idea that he gives an order and all of creation obeys his words.  He can nod his head and heal your body.  He can look at your fear from the corner of his eye and your nightmare will flee.  This is your God.  This is the One that you can trust with your needs and petitions, the One who wields all authority both in Heaven and on Earth.  Is this image of Jesus the same as the one you’ve been carrying in your mind?  If not, then your image of Jesus isn’t big enough.  Time to expand your view of Jesus to panoramic.

Stella got her Groove On

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We have a big blue van that we named Stella.  The only problem with Stella is that she came with a whiny horn.  The original horn says, “mooooove.  you’re in my waaay.” And no one takes it seriously.

Recently Josh stopped into our favorite neighborhood “trick out your ride” shop to talk with the owner Rick.  He’s an American guy whose lived here in Costa Rica for like 20 years.  Sometimes they talk about cars, sometimes they talk about God.  (Today it was cars.)  Josh complained that our van has a weenie horn.  He said, “I want a horn that will make people pee their pants!!”   Rick said, “I have just the thing for you.”

Now Stella has a horn that gets some notice!  Her horn says, “I’m comin’ through!  Get out of my way!”  It forces you to take her seriously.  It lets you know who’s the boss.  Now she can demand some respect on the road!  And I know it’s evil of me, but I can’t wait to see Lazy-Pedestrian-Guy pee his pants.

Well I’m not June Cleaver

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Well I’m not June Cleaver, but I might be able to pull this off anyhow.  This is a goal to strive for and an image to grow into.  This is my version of the famous Perfect Wife in Proverbs 31.

It’s hard to find the perfect wife!  She is worth far more than jewels.  Her husband depends on her.  He will never be poor.  She does good for her husband all her life.  She never speaks disparagingly about him to others.  She never shames him.

She is always gathering necessary supplies and enjoys making things with her hands.  She’s creative and resourceful.  She is like a ship from a faraway place.  She brings home food from everywhere.  She wakes up early in the morning, and cooks food for her family (or at least makes sure there’s cereal in the house).

She’s a working woman.  She has a good head for money and business matters.  She looks at land and buys it.  She understands savings and investments, and is responsible with her money.  She works very hard.  She is strong and able to do all her work.  She works late into the night to make sure her business earns a profit.  She is very industrious and resourceful.

She always gives to the poor and helps those who need it.  She doesn’t let fear make her stingy or self centered.  She plans ahead.  She does not worry about her family when winter comes.  She has given them all good, warm clothes.  She makes sure all the beds in her home are warm and comfortable.  She’s not frumpy, but she takes care of herself and her appearance.  She knows how to dress herself and her children well.

Her husband is a respected man and a leader wherever he works.  She knows how to talk with business men and associates.  She is a strong person, and people respect her.  She looks to the future with confidence.  Because of her planning, she can laugh at the days to come.  She speaks with wisdom and teaches others to be loving and kind.  People listen to what she has to say.

She oversees the care of her house, assigning chores to the children and working hard herself.  She is never lazy.  Her children say good things about her.  Her husband brags about her and says, “There are many good women, but you are the best.”  Grace and charm can fool you. Beauty is only skin deep and won’t last forever, but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.  She deserves public recognition for all that she’s done!  Give her applause and honor!