1 Timothy 3:7 A Good Reputation

 

Cabin on a hill

He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. 1 Timothy 3:7

Reputation is how other people see a person. What type of person do they see when they look at someone? What is his character like?

Reputations can be good or bad. Some can be positive reputations that every loves, or they can be negative ones that people hate.

Every person has a reputation of some sort. It can be seen in how they act and react to different situations. There are people who are known to get angry every time when they begin to talk about politics. Others may always be generous with time, or money. Some may have the reputation of being a talker.

Although Paul is talking specifically about someone who is going to be an overseer, the rule can be applied to every believer. Believers are to have a good reputation with outsiders, with people who are outside the belief in Jesus.

As Jesus walked on this earth, He had a good reputation with all people. He was known for being loving, kind, and generous. He was known to heal and forgive. Whether a person believed in Him or not, people knew who He was and what He was like.

Believers in the church do not always have a good reputation with people outside the church. Some are extremely judgmental. Others are stingy with their money and not giving. Many employers will state that believers are thought of to be lazy and not giving their best effort at work. Churches are often closed off to outsiders. People inside the church have their own little cliques that they stay in, and refuse to let others in.

These types of actions push people away from God and Jesus. They are falling into disgrace and into the devil’s trap to destroy the church and individual.

Find out what people think about you. What is your reputation with those outside the church?

Do people know you to be a believer, who is full of love, grace, mercy and truth?

Or do people see someone who says one thing and says or does something different?

Although reputation is not everything, it does mean something. It reveals how you are really living your life. Although the world may try to destroy you, they cannot deny who you are. What is your reputation to the world?

I pray today that your life will be like that of Jesus to this world; that people will know you are a follower of Jesus; that you will not do anything that will bring disgrace to God; and that many will know Jesus because of your actions and words.

Acts 5:41 The Right Attitude In Suffering

Rejoice In Suffering

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Acts 5:41

Peter and some of the other apostles had been preaching the gospel all over the city of Jerusalem. The Sanhedrin were upset about this and brought them in for questioning. After giving the apostles a severe beating they were released with a warning to stop speaking in the name of Jesus. As the disciples left, they were rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus and so they continued to talk about Jesus to everyone they met.

Disgrace or humiliation is something most people do not like to have done to them. When a person is disgraced it is often done publicly and it harms their name or reputation in the wrong way. They are often made to appear as though they are wrong or had done something wrong, when they are completely innocent of any wrong doing.

Often when a person is disgraced publicly, they retaliate with a lawsuit against the person who did the disgracing. They want revenge against the person who has done wrong to their name and caused them social harm.

The apostles had been physically and publicly beaten for talking about Jesus. The only people who were beaten like that were those who had done something wrong. The apostles had not done anything legally wrong, other than upset the leadership of the temple, and that was not a legal thing.

Yet, despite being beaten, they rejoiced. They rejoiced in being beaten. They did this because they felt as though it was an honor to be beaten for Jesus.

Believers today need to keep this attitude in mind. Being humiliated because one has done the right thing for Jesus, is not a bad thing. It is being a testimony of the dedication and love for Jesus. It is an example of who Jesus is.

Think about how much Jesus was beaten and humiliated for you. He suffered and died on a cross, which was a curse from God for you. No man can do more than that to you for believing and talking about Jesus.

Rejoice when people ridicule you for believing in Jesus. Your words, actions and reactions are being a witness of your love for Jesus. It is showing who Jesus really is. Have the right attitude in suffering.

I pray today that you will be a bold witness of who Jesus is; that you will not fear any ridicule for believing in Jesus; that God will strengthen you in times of suffering for Jesus; and that you will be the right witness in suffering for Jesus.

 

Jeremiah 50:11-12 Wrong Time To Rejoice

Because you rejoice and are glad, you who pillage my inheritance, because you frolic like a heifer threshing grain and neigh like stallions, your mother will be greatly ashamed; she who gave you birth will be disgraced. She will be the least of the nations–a wilderness, a dry land, a desert. Jeremiah 50:11-12

God had used Babylon to punish Israel for the sin of following false gods. In the process of punishing Israel, Babylon rejoiced and was glad at what they were doing. They took great joy in punishing Israel. Since they chose to rejoice in striking Israel, God said they would be disgraced as a nation.

When someone does something wrong, people like to see justice done. The more public the wrong was or the more damaging the wrong was, the more justice that people want to see happen. People love to see the hammer thrown down on the person who has committed a great crime. They rejoice to see it happen.

This type of rejoicing also occurs inside the church. When a person has fallen into some great sin, people cry out for justice and rejoice when it happens. People are quick express their joy at the destruction of someone who has done wrong.

God weeps when there has to be punishment. He does not want to have to punish any person. He only does it because that is what is necessary.

Think about being a parent. Very few parents rejoice at having to punish their child for doing something wrong. It breaks their heart to have to punish at all. In the same way, when punishment has to occur on someone, do not rejoice.

God has infinite love for every person. When punishment occurs, it breaks His heart. Your heart should break in the same way. The person being punished is only having it happen because of some bad choices. You have made bad choices in your own life. Would you want people to rejoice at your punishment?

Jesus came to this world out of love for all. He came to save them, not punish and rejoice over the death of people. Punishment is done as a need, not as a joy.

Seek to redeem people, rather than just punish. Love those who have done wrong and point them in the right direction. Do not just crush them and then rejoice.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for people; that your heart will break as God’s does for the fallen; that you will seek to redeem the lost for God; and that God will use you to restore people to Him. 

Isaiah 25:7-8 Death Will Be Destroyed

On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. Isaiah 25:7-8

At the time that Isaiah was speaking this, Israel as a whole nation did not exist. It had already been split into two smaller nations and both were now being destroyed and overcome by other nations. The destruction and captivity of the people was in the process.

Yet, as this destruction is occurring, Isaiah prophecies about the world being blessed on the very site God was in the process of destroying. Nearly a thousand years later, Jesus would walk on that very mountain and bring a blessing to the world.

One thing that is a shroud that covers every nation and every person that walks on this earth is death. Death is stronger than taxes or any government in the world. While many things and people are extremely powerful in this world, nothing has more power on mankind than death.

Everyone will die. Some scientists devote their lives to studying ways to defeat death. Death does not care if you are rich or poor, famous or unknown, or if you have done great things or not. It will get you.

Yet, when Jesus came to the earth, He came with the purpose to destroy death. Death was brought onto this earth through sin. Without sin, death has no power at all.

Along with removing the shroud of death over all people, God will remove the disgrace of the people. The disgrace is the sin each person has done. God has treated every person on this earth with perfect love, yet, each person has chosen to sin against Him, to their own shame and disgrace.

Jesus, in His great love, has paid the price for that disgrace and is willing to remove it. He removed it on the hill of Mount Calvary.

Look to Jesus for your life. The things of this world will pass away and physical death will come, but your spirit can live for eternity. Jesus is willing to remove your shame of sin and clothe you in righteousness.

Are you trusting Him today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your savior; that you will allow Jesus to remove all sin from your life; that you will accept the abundant, eternal life God has for you; and that you will not fear death.

Proverbs 29:15 A Rod And A Reprimand

A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother. Proverbs 29:15

People often talk about the need to discipline a child in order to have the child grow up correctly. Many parents always love the statement, “spare the rod, spoil the child.” Some will take this to extremes, even to the point of abuse. While others reject all discipline.

Arguments are continually made about how children are no longer disciplined. Their being undisciplined is argued as being the reason schools are now so dangerous.

While it is true that children should be disciplined for doing the wrong thing, there is one other group of people who need to be included in discipline. That is all the believing adults.

Every believer in Jesus claims God as their Father.

As a result of God being their Father, this means that each one is His child.

God in His great love is willing to discipline His children. The purpose of the discipline is to get each one back on the right track and keep them from walking or living in sin.

The dangerous part is that most adults do not feel that they need to be or should ever be disciplined. Adults often feel that they have “made it” and can do what they want, when they want and how they want.

Think about how many teenagers became adults and then spent the next few years partying and running around, just because they could do it. Later they start to settle down and remember the words of their parents and realize how wise they were.

As an adult believer in Jesus, you must also be disciplined at times by your Father. There are times you make bad choices and go down a path God does not want you on. Because of God’s great love for you, He will take the time to discipline you.

Just as a parent disciplines his child to keep him on the right path and bring honor to his mother, so God will do the same with you.

You will gain wisdom when you listen to God’s discipline in your life. His discipline will set you on the path for an abundant, fulfilling life.

Are you willing to accept it?

Or will you fight God, as a rebellious child?

I pray today that you will see God’s discipline in your life; that you will learn from God’s discipline; that God will reveal His great love and mercy to you; and that you will live your life for God.

Psalm 69:6 To Not Be A Disgrace To Others

Lord, the LORD Almighty, may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me; God of Israel, may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me. Psalm 69:6

Families are often torn apart and shamed by the actions of one person. In some cultures, honor is held at such a high level in the family, that if a child does something wrong, the family will disown the child for life. That child will be considered dead in the eyes of the parents.

There are some cultures that if certain things are done by a family member, it is acceptable to kill that family member because of the extreme disgrace brought onto the family.

Disobedient children in a store often bring shame on the parent, who is attempting to control or calm them down. Parents who are called by the school teacher, are often ashamed of the actions of their child.

David had done some type of great sin right before he had written this psalm. He was asking God that all those who believed in Him, would not be disgraced or shamed because of what he had done wrong. He realized that his sin would reflect on others and have an effect on them.

It is often thought that a person’s own personal sin only affects himself and no one else. The reality is that it can bring disgrace upon other believers. When the world sees one believer sin, then they often  apply that sin to the whole community of believers. They try to say that God is not real and all believers are fake.

Along with not trying to disgrace God by sinning, try not to bring disgrace upon the community of believers by your actions. Live your life in a way that will bring honor to other believers, rather than disgrace.

As you live your life for God, it will bring strength and honor to other believers. It will lift them up as they see you living for God.

Will God or other believers be disgraced or ashamed by what you are saying or doing?

Or will God and other believers be honored with how you are living your life?

I pray today that you will live your life for Jesus; that you will bring honor to God; that you will not bring shame to God’s community of believers; and that you will be a shining light for Jesus in this world.

Acts 5:41 Worthy To Suffer Disgrace

“The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” Acts 5:41

The apostles had been telling people about Jesus. The leaders of the Sanhedrin came and put them in jail. God sent an angel to release them. The leaders are very angry and pull them in for more questioning. They decide to flog the disciples and release them with a warning to no longer speak in the name of Jesus. The apostles leave rejoicing. They were honored at being able to suffer for Jesus.

When a person gets ridiculed, the first thing most people do is fight back. Sometimes that fight is with the same type of ridicule in words, or it can be physically fighting, or going to authorities to get the person in trouble. Being offended by the ridicule is very common.

The disciples did not get offended. In fact, they actually counted it as a great blessing. They probably remembered all the suffering Jesus had to go through for them, and decided that the little bit of painful flogging that they had to go through was nothing compared His suffering. That flogging was not just some words but extreme physical pain.

If you are not doing anything to spread the gospel message, the Devil will leave you alone. When you are doing something actively for Jesus, the Devil is out to get you. He will want to stop you at all costs. The world is willing to physically harm you to stop you. Don’t let them stop you.

What are you willing to go through to tell others about Jesus? If you are suffering for Jesus, consider it a joy, since that means you are doing what God wants and the Devil is angry with you. Remember that greater is He who is in you, than he that is in the world.

God is on your side. Trust Him in all of your suffering. You will win with God in the end.

I pray today that Jesus will strengthen you to be His witness; that you will not fear any suffering; that Jesus will protect you; that Jesus will hold you in your suffering; and that you will tell many people about Jesus.