Daily Devotional for Saturday October 29, 2011
Do You Love the Praise of Men More than the Praise of God
I want to ask you a very personal and direct question this morning. Do you love the praise of men more than the praise of God? I am going to assume most everyone answering that question will immediately say, NO! Are you sure? You SAY you love the praise of God more than the praise of man but do you really? When you are confronted with a situation where you have the opportunity to proclaim Jesus Christ as the only way, the only Truth, the only life, the only answer . . . do you do it? Or, do you chicken out?
The last time you were in a conversation with people who didn't believe in Jesus and you had the opportunity to defend Christ, did you? Or did you sit back and go along with the others by your silence? My friend, when given the opportunity to proclaim Christ and Christ alone and you fail to do so, despite what you may say, you love the praise of men more than the praise of God.
The point of today's Devotional is very simple. Do we live our lives for the praise of man or the praise of God? Let me assure you that it is easier to get the praise of God than of man, and it is praise that is not temporary but eternal!!! You see, trying to please man is an impossible task because what is expected and required of us changes so often. You can try your entire life to please man but you will end up most sad and frustrated because it is not possible. The wonderful thing about God is that He has told us in His word what He expects, thus we know without a doubt what is required to please Him.
The other problem with the praise of man is that it is so temporary. How many people in the entertainment, athletic, the industry you may be part of are "hot" for a period of time, then are all but forgotten. The praise of man is fleeting, temporal. The praise of God is everlasting. I realize that many of you struggle with this issue. Trying to get the praise of someone in your life, whether it be in school, professionally, or in some sort of relationship.
I am not saying not to try to please others or do a good job. What I am saying is that your first priority is to please God. So many email me how distraught they are because they just can't seem to make this person or that person happy. Continue to try, but always remember that your goal should not be to receive the praise of a man, but the praise of God.
I realized a very long time ago that I could not make everyone happy. No matter how hard I tried it just wasn't possible. I still do my best each day, but in that effort, I never forget that ultimately it is God that I have to please. Even though everyone else may not like what I do, as long as I am doing what God wants and He is pleased then I have succeeded.
We read about the human cry of the prophets in the Old Testament complaining how nobody would listen to them. Nobody was willing to heed their warnings. How frustrated they were. I can guarantee you this. None of those men were ever going to receive any awards from their city, but they were receiving far greater rewards from God because of their faithfulness. In the Book of Acts, Stephen's reward for preaching the Gospel was death by stoning. Even though those around him were so upset they literally stoned him to death, Jesus rose from His throne and stood to welcome Stephen into Heaven because of his faithfulness!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I pray today that you will never forget that it is God who we must ultimately please each and every day, not man. I will be praying for you that the next time you are in a situation where you can tell someone about Jesus, that you will "always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is within you." (1 Peter 3:15) Like everyone, I enjoy the praise of man but I do not live for that. I live my life for the praise of God and to one day hear those words, "Well done thou good and faithful servant."
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,