The Praise of Men

We all enjoy it. Most of us crave it. We want to hear other people cheering us on and congratulating us. “Well done! Bravo!” These are words that warm our heart. The only problem is, they are words that come from the wrong source.

The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. When Jesus had said this, he departed and hid himself from them. Though he had done so many signs before them, yet they did not believe in him; it was that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Therefore they could not believe. For Isaiah again said, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.” Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And he who sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.”

John 12:36-47

When faced with following Jesus or following the world, many of the Pharisees chose the world, “for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” Instead of following Christ, they walked away from Him, even though they believed He was the savior. Sound familiar?

We say we believe Christ, but we prefer the comfort of hearing the praise of men. We have been greeting each other with “Christ is Risen” for forty days now. Still, instead of walking into Church on Sundays, we walk away from God.

What would happen if we chose God today? What would happen if our actions were meant to please God instead of our best friend? Just because we can’t ‘hear’ God’s praise doesn’t mean He is praising us. What would happen if we stopped and listened for His praise?

We won’t hear it until we stop listening for the praise of men. Until we walked with Christ instead of the world, we won’t understand the whisper from God in our heart. Hearing the whisper of God’s voice in our heart cannot happen until we pay attention.

Christ revealed Himself and still people didn’t follow Him. That’s how strong the temptation is to walk away. If we want to be free from the darkness, then we must learn to tune out the praise of men and listen for the praise of God. Can you hear it?

As you spend the day saying (for one last time until next year) “Christ is Risen,” remember to listen for God’s praise. You will hear it in your heart, not in your ears. It will come from God not men. Are you listening?

Stop craving the praise of men. Their praises only last until you are no longer valuable to men. You are always valuable to God. He won’t walk away like men. He didn’t come to judge us, but to save us. He can’t save us if we crave the praise of men. We must crave His praise.

Are you ready for the challenge?

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