6 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Exodus 4
Luke 7
Job 21
1 Corinthians 8

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

“Jesus heard this and was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found so great a faith even in Israel.’”
Luke 7:9 (CSB)

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

A Roman centurion had a slave that was sick and about to die. So he sent for Jesus. He knew that Jesus could heal him.

As Jesus received word of this request and neared the centurion’s home, the Roman officer sent word to Jesus. He felt unworthy to have Jesus come into his home. So, he sent some of his friends to Jesus to ask Him to simply speak the word. He was convinced that Jesus was so powerful that He could simply say the words from a distance and the slave would be healed.

When Jesus heard this, He couldn’t keep quiet. He was so impressed with the Roman officer’s faith that He had to say something … publicly … about it. He had to celebrate what was unusual and good.

Luke 7:9 (CSB): “Jesus heard this and was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found so great a faith even in Israel.’”

Why is public praise often appropriate? Here are a couple of reasons:

  • We are called to give “respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor” (Romans 13:7). The Roman soldier’s faith was certainly worthy of respect and honor.
  • What gets celebrated gets repeated. If we want to cultivate a certain type of behavior in our church (or family, or business, or community, etc.), then find someone doing that behavior and praise it. Others will be drawn to it and possibly strive to imitate it. We are typically drawn to what gets rewarded (Hebrews 11:6).

So, what’s the take-away for this devotion?

Realize that God observes every single thing you do. He observes your actions, your words, your motives, your attitudes, … everything! And, when you do something that goes beyond what others are doing, He takes note. While you may not hear Heaven’s applause yet, just wait, my friend. There will come a day when you stand before the Lord and he will publicly applaud your entrance as He calls out, “Well done! Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23).

Also, realize that you aren’t the only one who likes public praise. Others do, too. So look for other people who are doing things well. If it is appropriate, express your praise for them in a way that other people can hear and observe, and maybe join in the praise.

Friend, life can be tough. It can be negative. So, let’s fight against that and follow Jesus’ example by being ready and willing to create a climate of respect and honor for those who are worthy of it.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, thank You so much for making the Bible available to me. In its pages, I get to read about You. I get to see how You acted, what You said, how You interacted with others. I even get to see how You enjoyed praising others publicly. If I am to become more like You, then I need to follow Your example in praising others. So today, I will look for someone to praise. Help me to make it genuine and powerful so that I can brighten someone’s day today. Amen.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash