Wednesday, October 20, 2010
THEY LOVED PRAISE FROM MEN
THEY LOVED PRAISE FROM MEN
©2010 Narrowgate Publishing
“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.”
Is this not a picture of the so-called “Christian” churches today?
Men are called by Jesus to do things His Way—clearly told what following Him means, clearly called out from the world to live radical, devoted lives for Christ—and yet because they love praise from men more than praise from God, they will not confess Christ’s Name and His truth. They fear, with good reason, being put out of the church.
People of God, who know Jesus’ voice and if you hear His voice today, then follow Him, not men. This message is from the Lord Himself.
Forsake the ways of men, handed down and taught by those who never practiced true faith or true love like Jesus. These men forged institutions and religious forms that deny the very essence of what Jesus taught. They love the trappings of Christianity, but have no love for the Savior who bought their souls with His life.
Don’t we know yet, after all this time being exposed to God’s Word, that He will accept nothing less than obedience?
Do you still think that living out the life of Christ on earth is going to church, listening to a sermon, having devotions every morning, and reading another book about faith or love?
Do we not know yet, after all this time having hearing the Word, that God is no respecter of persons, and that we will all be held accountable for acting in obedience on what we know to be the Truth?
Daily I struggle for the people of God, praying we will be obedient to the Word.
“Do not merely listen to the Word,
and so deceive yourselves.
Do what it says.”
There is a current belief among those who claim Christ that if we just read enough, and learn enough, and hear the Word enough, we will one day wake up and live the right way. We have been taught wrongly.
Obedience to Jesus’ Word, and conformance to the life of the living Word, Jesus Himself, requires sacrifice, and giving up our own desires completely. It means following Jesus in direct opposition to the prevailing religious winds. It means that we are willing to be counted with the “few” Jesus mentioned who would take the narrow road with Him. (Matt. 7:13,14)
We already know the Truth, and this absolute Truth from the Lord and His Word calls us out to come together with those who “call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Tim. 2:22)
Remember that Scripture is clear about what we must do to inherit eternal life. We must have saving faith, faith that is accompanied by deeds that show it is real faith. Our verbal profession of faith means nothing. (James 2:14-26)
We know this, yet we live as if this letter was never written by the Holy Spirit for our obedient action.
“Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it
and that produces a crop…receives the blessing of God.
But land that produces thorns and thistles
is worthless…in the end it will be burned.”
God is telling us that only the fruit of His Spirit, the fruit of obedience, the fruit of repentance—only real action spurred by real faith—will be accepted by God and will gain us entrance into Heaven.
What we need today are men like Paul, who not only believe, but live the life of Christ in front of others. Who not only teach, but who show by example the life of Christ lived out in love and sacrifice for the brethren.
We have accepted a “church life” that is unacceptable to God.
Like the Pharisees, we care more about praise from men, and acceptance by men, than we do about praise and acceptance from God. We jeopardize not only our own souls, but the souls of all those around us by our blatant disobedience to the revealed will of the Lord.
When we repent, and begin to teach and preach the Truth, many will oppose us, as they opposed Jesus. Are you willing?
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