Whose Praise Do You Crave?
I woke up this morning anticipating my time with God before the craziness of the day set in. The house was quiet, my bed was made, and my coffee was hot.
I have been reading in John chapter 12 and one particular verse keeps speaking to me.
John 12:43 says, "For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."
In the previous verse, verse 42, you see that many of the people around Jesus at that moment would not confess publicly that Jesus was Lord because they were afraid the Pharisee's would kick them out of the synagogue. (Verse 42)
I look around at our world today and not much has changed.
Far too often, we are feeding our flesh and not our spirit. We are desperate for the praise of the world but forget that the god of this world (satan) is not our God. We are not to be of this sinful world or partake in its pleasures.
Sin is not something we are hiding in private anymore. You can scroll your social media newsfeed for three-seconds and see something sinful being glorified. The entertainment industry is openly glorifying sinful living and making tons of money off of it. Culture tell us to cancel those who we deem wrong, live a life that brings you pleasure only, and follow your heart because you know what is best for your life.
Sin abounds but there is grace abounding more so, friend.
This applies to us Christians as well. Christians (I'm talking about me too) have started to fall into the pit of craving the praise of the world. We are obsessed with being liked to the point of not speaking the truth when we know we should. Our worth, in our minds, is based on how many likes we get on a perfectly-curated photo.
We are craving the praise of the world when we should be praising God. We don't deserve any praise or glory. Our lives are not our own but were given to us by God to bring glory to His name. Without His blood shed on the cross, we wouldn't have hope. There would be no way for us to experience heaven. What a gift we have been given!
We are all guilty of slipping up in our spiritual walk. It is a constant battle between flesh and spirit.
Just last night, I laid in bed asking God to please forgive me and help me to not get so slack. I get so lazy with my time spent with Him. We must come to the realization that He is our top priority. We would not have what we have without Him. Any talent, accomplishment, blessing, and breath we breathe is from Him alone and we should use it to bring glory to Him alone.
Easily we drop our guard down as Christian's when we should be pressing forward even more so in the world we are living in.
I don't want to be a lazy Christian who fails to live their life for Jesus. I want to love people enough to tell them about Jesus; the one who can wash away their sin, break their chains, and give them true joy.
We should want people to know just how much grace is out there for them. Jesus loves them enough to not let them stay dead in their sins. Hell is real and I don't want to crave the praise of men more than God because in the end what matters is if you and I know Jesus. People will die and go to hell, and perhaps those we love that don't know Christ, if we don't tell them about Jesus and His saving power.
Don't crave the praise of the world, friend. It is a rabbit hole that never ends and you'll spend years chasing the praises of the world.