Praise From…

Praise From...

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.  John 12:42-43 (NIV)

As we come to know Jesus are we aware of levels, stages or degrees of our belief?  From the first whisper we hear of the Gift we have in our Saviour, does every new discovery build upon the one before?  Are these discoveries like building-blocks of faith?  Can we sense the thrill and soaring of our souls when we realize we are coming to know the Divine?  To us these discoveries become priceless treasures.  Are these treasures of drawing near Jesus worth protecting?

Each person who walks the face of the earth has this choice.  It is the celebrated independence of mankind.  We can choose to seek the Lordship of God.  Or we can try to make ourselves the important ones.  We can set ourselves up as the ones by which all should relate to.  We all do it to some degree.  Where our preferences affect those around us these differences of opinions can become a weighty problem.  There are those who lean more to celebrating themselves and the power they find by asserting their own beliefs.   They wield their power over their more passive brothers and sisters.  It is the way of man.  Loud and forceful, they scramble over the meek and humble.  The believer who looks not to getting their best foot forward in this world may always have to beware of the brother or sister who does.

The Pharisees of Jesus´ day wielded their opinions over all others in the church.  So strong were they in what they believed they should fight for, they did not stop to listen.  They were so embedded in what they considered right, that they failed to look for the movement of God.  They could not even recognize that everything Jesus says or does lifts the Father higher.  They could not see that the Son brings glory to God.  They could not see God working to save us through Christ.  Could this still be the case today?

In God´s great plan of our salvation, where are we now?  Where are we in relation to the One center Piece to our mission in life?  Do we know?  Do we consider it often?  Is Jesus that priceless Gift that can bring us unto God?  Have we come to that conclusion?  If we have, how close are we standing to Him?  Are we letting someone else set the limits on how close we could get to Him?  Is our society pressuring us in one direction?  Where would our peers have us look?  Is our church assisting us in our effort to seek Him and assure He is with us in every moment?  Where is the focus of those who have the power to influence us?  Are they themselves straining to see God at work?  Are they seeking His glory or their own?  In the end we may be held to where we have allowed our hearts to be affected.  Are we willing to examine our hearts today?  Can we look to see if we love the praise from men or from God?

Dear Jesus, we wish to come home with You.  We want to come to the Father.  Please help us to seek You now.  Let us come closer than the boisterous world we live in would allow.  Do not let us hear the insistent protests.  Draw us so near to You that Your strength can cover us.  With our hearts in firmly set in You and You living in us, we will not even care that others have held short of what we find in You!  Help us come this close to You now we pray!


By S.D. Wonenberg


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