Sunday, 4 August 2019

Respect is Earned

Scripture:  Genesis 4 v 3 - 5: "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 
4  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 
5  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell."

Our God says that He is no respecter of persons, that does not mean that He disrespected everyone, it means that  He considers us all equally.  However He had respect to Abel over Cain, and for Jacob over Esau.  Cain ended up murdering his brother Abel, and fleeing to other lands.  Jacob went away to find his wife and Esau went to Edom.

Whether you are an astronaut, a celebrity, royalty, a professor, billionaire or pauper, healthy or sick, married or single, God does not measure you by your class or status or ability.  He looks on your heart to see if it is in harmony with His.  His judgment is based on your knowledge of Him.  And especially your knowledge of Jesus.  He also saw what was in the heart of Cain and Esau, envy and greed.

We earn His respect by loving one another the way He loves us.  He does not see us as anything but identical.  There is no Jew nor Greek, no black nor white people, no rich nor poor, no male nor female, we are all equal in His eyes and none are more equal than others.

Galatians 3 v 27 - 29: "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29  And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Those who have class, status and superiority despise the lower classes no matter what colour or race they are.  So in Christ all class status is wiped out.  Philemon v 16 - 18: "Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
17  If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.
18  If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;"  This is all about Onesimus who was a slave of Philemon who ran away and got born again through Paul.  He wants his slave status removed and that Onesimus would be received as a brother.

God does not bother with our nations or flags or gold Olympic medals.  Our sports trophies, university degrees or any other achievements do not interest Him.  He pays attention when we are obedient, kind, well-mannered, caring, generous, under self-control, patient, praying, Christians.

If we don't respect ourselves, we will not respect others, nor respect their property nor their reputation.
So it's important to be on time, have good manners,
dressed appropriately, and be of a quiet and meek nature.  Then we will treat everyone who is born again with proper respect and receive the same respect because we earned it.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, through many influences and life experiences we have standards and expectations of proper acknowledgment of our status in life.  The truth is that we need to change into the likeness of Jesus who ministered to lepers, beggars and rich people every day.  He only rebuked the hypocrites.  Help us to be like Him. In Jesus' name.  Amen.