Content to hear the boss praise you?

Believing on God is not always the most sociably acceptable thing to do. It isn’t always “easy” and it often requires certain sacrifices. Or maybe we should call them, “realignment of priorities.” As almost any Christian, we would say, “God is first,” but to we live that way?

In John 12, many Pharisees believed on Jesus, but they didn’t confess. Why? “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43) You see, these men wanted the praise from others. They forgot the person they should have been living to please. They focused on the people around them, and not on God. Their perspective was wrong, their priorities were skewed, and as a result they never experienced God like they should have.

How about you? Are you hesitant to share things about your faith with others because you are wary about what others would say? Do you change your actions, or compromise to please others around you? How about this? When you go to work, are you content to hear the boss tell you that you did a good job when you know you could have done better? Are you striving for the praise of men, rather than the praise of God?

I would challenge you, ask God to show you if you love the approval of men more than you love His approval. If you do, in any way, make a conscious decision to change your attitude. Remind yourself of the person you should really strive to please. Ask God to help you seek for His approval alone. If you live for Him alone, you will never regret it.

“How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” – John 5:44

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You can’t accept it? Why not?

“Oh, I couldn’t accept that.” or how about, “Oh no, you shouldn’t.” These phrases, and others like them have proliferated our culture. It seems to be the polite thing to reject a person’s hospitality. Why? Where did that come from? Honestly, I don’t know, but to reject someone’s hospitality for no reason isn’t just rude, it’s downright wrong.

1 Peter 4:9 tells us to “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” Romans 12:13 tells us that we should be “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” Now, I will ask you a question. How can a follower of Christ give to others and extend hospitality if it is constantly being rejected? Why is the rejection of hospitality viewed as something acceptable?

God commanded that we should give to one another. He told us to be hospitable. Even in secular culture it is reported that “It is more blessed to give than receive.” If that is true, then allow people to be blessed by their kindness. Accept what they give, and give God the glory for it.

I would encourage you, the next time someone shows you kindness accept it graciously. Don’t resort to cliché or fake rejections of their kindness. Thank them, Praise the Lord, and remember that they will reap the fruits of what they do. Then, don’t allow them to get all the blessing. Find a way to give to others and be hospitable. After all, God promises:

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” – Luke 6:38

Are you a part of the family?

There is a powerful drive in all of us to find a place where we belong. People do all kinds of crazy things to get initiated into clubs, fraternities, gangs, etc. They want a place where they are accepted. They are willing to do much to be accepted. Many people no longer have a traditional home where they are loved and accepted. Sadly, less people can really say from their hearts that "There’s no place like home." As Christians, we have a hope. Our home is not of this world. No matter what our family background, social status, or nationality, we have a place in Christ.

Colossians 3:11 says, "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all." In Paul’s letter to the Colosians, he makes this powerful statement. He clarifies a principle very clearly. He says that a person’s culture does not matter, their religious background does not matter, and their ethnic background has no relevance. He even says that it does not matter if you are a servant or a master. All are equal in Christ.

If we continue reading Colossians, we find several commands. Verse 12 and 13 tells us to be merciful, kind, humble, meek, longsuffering, and forbearing (to encourage and build up one another). Then the verse says specifically, "If any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." So in short, God wants His family to get along. But more than this, He wants us to care for each with self-sacrificing love.

Are you searching for a place to belong? Look to Christ. Ask Him to save you and forgive your sins. He can give you a home that this world never could. Have you found Christ to be your refuge and strength? Look for others you can build up. You should never look at others the way the world looks at them. Don’t judge people by their background, race, gender, or social status. Ask God to help you see others as He sees them: as the valuable creation He died for.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." – Galatians 3:28