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Don’t Live for the Praises of Others

by J. M. Farro on July 19th, 2020

   “Of course you’re unable to believe in Me.  For you live for the praises of others and not for the praise that comes from the only true God.”  John 5:44 TPT

   One way that people, including Christians, can get off track where fulfilling their God-given purpose is concerned, is by living for the praises of other people.  Well-meaning people can try to get us involved in their agendas, which may sound good on the surface.  However, when we take a closer look and hold them up against the truth of the Gospel, we realize that they conflict with God’s agendas.  Some of these people who want us to stray from what the Bible teaches will see themselves as enlightened, and us as closed-minded.  They may even try to make us feel guilty when, in their eyes, we are not being loving, because we refuse to accept the sinful lifestyles that a corrupt society approves of.

   Jesus said: “Your approval or disapproval means nothing to Me, for as I know so well, you don’t have God’s love within you.” (John 5:41-42 TLB)  You and I have to be extremely wary of people who have no real love for God.  Christ had no desire to try to please them, and neither should we.  The Savior goes on to say: “I have come to represent my Father, yet you refuse to embrace Me in faith.  But when someone comes in their own name and with their own agenda, you readily accept him.” (v. 43 TPT)  Sadly, there are many people today who readily accept the worldly agendas of their own society and culture, and refuse to embrace Christ and His Gospel.  Then Jesus reveals: “Of course you’re unable to believe in Me.  For you live for the praises of others and not for the praise that comes from the only true God.” (v. 44 TPT)  Living for the praises of others, rather than of Christ, will ultimately destroy our faith and our witness, and prevent us from fulfilling our God-given destiny.

   In Luke 16, Jesus says: “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts.  What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.” (v. 15)  The Passion Translation says, “The very things that you approve of and applaud are the things God despises.”  Look at some of the vile things that many are approving of and applauding these days.  It’s up to you and me to stand against these things that “God despises.”  As Christ’s representatives, it’s our job to be champions for biblical commands and principles in this world.  Scripture says: “What people say about themselves means nothing.  What counts is whether the Lord says they have done well.” (2 Corinthians 10:18 ERV)  When we live our lives in a way to receive the praises of God, He will bless us and use us in mighty ways for His glory!

   Lord, help me to avoid getting involved with worldly agendas that conflict with Your Word and Your laws.  When given a choice to offend You or other people, help me to choose to offend others every time.  Thank You that as I concentrate on pleasing You in all things, You will see that I fulfill my God-given purpose and potential in Christ!

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