Stepping Stones: Obedience and Respect

Stepping Stones: Obedience and Respect
February 8, 2011 Lighthouse Network

Transformational Thought

Respect and reverence have become negative and, at times, distasteful words in today’s world, especially regarding Christianity. In some places, Christians receive disgust, animosity, and on occasion, hate and disdain. In the United States, Christians are increasingly viewed as opinionated bigots and narrow-minded people.

Thousands of years ago, God told Noah to build an ark to save his family because He was sending a flood to destroy all life on earth. Up to this time, people had not experienced rain…only a light mist that watered the earth. And here was Noah, building a humongous ship on dry land.

Nobody understood what Noah was doing or why…and actually, they never did until the rain started to fall as Noah had zero converts. Noah took their questions, laughter, abuse and ridicule…day after day, year after year, decade after decade…for 100 years.

Did they have respect for him and his faith? Not at all. The people were so evil that God would destroy all of them, so we could only imagine how evil their ridicule was and what physical persecution or sabotage they carried out on Noah, his family, and his ark as Satan undoubtedly tried to sabotage God’s plan. Hiding Noah’s hammer, spraying graffiti on the ark, vandalizing the ark, stealing supplies for their own use, throwing rocks at them while they worked. Think of the most violent labor dispute and picket line.

But did Noah continue to respect and reverence God by obeying him? Absolutely. Day after day, Noah plugged and chugged…yes, for 100 years of building.

Today, think about how people view you. Do you reverence God enough to honor Him, even in the face of ridicule? Are you hesitant to do what is right…instead falling into the trap of doing what is popular or politically correct, just to be accepted or avoid rejection? Do you love God enough to share your faith as God gives you opportunity? Some Christians risk even their lives by obeying God. How far are you willing to go to maintain your stand and to honor God? What will you do today to prove it? Your decision, choose well. WITHIN REACH can help.

O Heavenly Father, forgive me for my decisions to dishonor You by not speaking up when I knew I should …or by joining in conversations and actions that were displeasing to You. Help me to always honor You by making obedient decisions to follow You…no matter what the circumstances or consequences. Thanks for the examples of Noah, Joseph, Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach, and Abendego, and ultimately, Jesus. Give me the power to love those who dishonor You, but the courage to stand up for You, and the discernment to know how so I honor You and respect them. I pray this and all prayers for the One who shows us the definition of obedience and respect by embodying it, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!

The Truth
Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
Genesis 6:22

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Matthew 26:69-75

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