Respect God’s Anointed
Paul and Barnabas re-oriented their cheerful audience to stop praising mortal men, but praise the living God. When Paul preached and performed a miracle in Lystra, everyone assumed him to be god, and they wanted to offer sacrifices to him. However, the two evangelists cautioned them not to do so. It is reported,
“In Lystra, a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked. Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” ...“When the Apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them” (Acts 14:8-11; 14-15).
Servants of God must be respected, but they must not be worshiped! People must understand the difference between “respect” and “worship.” It is very important that everyone knows how to relate to God and his servants without crossing the necessary boundary. God is the only deity that people must worship; God’s servants are people that must be respected. God is sensitive and possessive of his glory; he will not share his glory with anyone (Isaiah 42:8). Meanwhile, God’s servants carry divine mantles; they are endowed with the power to preach gospel and exercise authority in order to direct people’s attention to God.
Dear God, please help me to be sensitive not to give your due glory to a mortal man or woman. Let me offer you due glory and honor at all times. In addition, give me the grace to respect your servants so that I can incur your blessings. Help me to pray and offer necessary assistance for your servants, so that they can be motivated to serve you more. Please bless me also as I endeavor to obey all your instructions. For in the name of Jesus Christ I make my requests. Amen.
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