March 09, 2006

Who's Praise Do You Seek?

John 12:42-43 (NIV)

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

Do you sit in church listening to rhetoric condemning homosexuals and not speak up, afraid you will be shunned by your pastor and fellow church members?

Are you a GLBT person who wants to seek God, yet doesn't because your partner or friends in the community would ridicule you?

Are you a believer, gay or straight, who doesn't make time to worship or tithe off the wealth God has provided for you?

Do you want to share Christ with a friend but are afraid of the negative response you might receive from them?

All of the above situations are examples of man putting the approval of other men (or women) above the approval of God. On the surface that sounds absurd, but we've all done it at some point in our lives. The bible shows us that this is wrong. Jesus will forgive us, but we need to acknowledge the sin of not putting His approval and His will as our priority.

Time spent in His service seeking His will and approval will reap more rewards than anything else we can do on this earth. We just need to value those rewards over the short-term monetary and/or social benefits often associated with activites outside God's will.

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