If I’m trying to please men, I can’t walk worthy of the God who calls me. (Read Thessalonians 2:4-12)
It’s so easy to want others to affirm us, to like us, to praise us. We long for position and power. And those in ministry are not immune.
Book sales, social media likes, twitter followers, speaking invitations, can all entice us to think more of ourselves than we should.
Just as it is for the lost, the praise of men is addictive to Christians. It can come in many forms, and like any other drug, it takes more and more to satisfy.
Except, it won’t ever satisfy us. But it will cause us to forsake our first love.
Sooner or later, the enemy will tempt us to choose the idol over our love for God. We will compromise truth to avoid criticism so we can keep the praise coming.
We will remain silent when we should speak truth, because we don’t want to offend anyone.
But the gospel is offensive.
“The gospel says some things that people do not want to hear. The gospel tells human beings that we are sinners who are in rebellion against God. Tell people how good they are and they will love you for it. Give them therapy and feel-good fluff from the pulpit and you can fill an NBA coliseum and write bestsellers. Tell them that they are sinners separated from God by that sin and they will not appreciate you or your message. But you cannot preach the true gospel without confronting human sin.” Dave Miller
Jesus said. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.” (John 15:18-21)
So, here’s some questions I’m asking myself-
Is anyone offended by the gospel in me? If not, is it because they can’t see Jesus in me?
Am I so concerned about the praise of men that I remain silent when I should speak?
Have I convinced myself that remaining silent is loving when the truth is, I am really more concerned about my popularity than I am the eternity of others?
God knows our hearts are deceitful above all things. Let’s stop and ask Him to show us any area of our lives where we may be vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy.
Let’s ask Him to strengthen us to live our lives for His praise alone! May He work in and through us for His glory!
Take a moment and really listen to the words of this song, and pray them back to the Father. “How deep the Father’s Love for us” https://youtu.be/nR-N_Oh4uNg (be sure to skip the ads)
“Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer. But this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom.” ❤️
And if you like a little “country” with your worship, check out this song from the new “Chris Tomlin and Friends” album, “I want to be the Moon” https://youtu.be/Sejv8a-vCyc
If you wish to receive this devotional in your email inbox, go to https://kimjaggers.com/blog-2/ and click follow. And I’d so appreciate your prayers as I study and write. ❤️