John 12:43 – For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Mention the word “praise” in almost any church setting, or to almost any Christian, the first thing that comes to mind, if not the only thing, is praise BY or FROM man FOR or TO God. But praise can flow from many sources to many destinations. In this writing we consider TWO sources and ONE destination.
First we consider the destination for this writing. It is man. Be completely honest here. What human being does NOT enjoy, or at least appreciate praise at some level. As children, nothing will ever replace the praise that can be given a child by a parent. Children if all ages thrive on it. It is a joy from which no child, regardless of age, should ever be deprived. Young adults thrive on it. It can often be a powerful catalyst and compass in helping them choose direction in life. Older adults need it, for it prevents a growing sense of uselessness as one’s skills and knowledge of the past may not be so evidently necessary later in life. At this writing, my mother is two months away from her 96th birthday. She still drives her car, lives alone, does her own shopping, and about anything else she desires. But she really enjoys being praised, especially when it’s about her ambulatory ability. And all this praise I’m speaking about comes from people.
But sadly for so many believers, they do not know that our God, our heavenly Father, is the greatest source of praise for His children that exists. People can often praise with a motive to gain advantage over you. But when praise comes from Father, there is never an ulterior motive. His praise for His children is pure, undefiled, and always truthful. And there is no higher praise for any human being. Always remember that in pleasing Father, one element is never out of play – FAITH. Without faith you cannot please God. Faith comes by hearing, and faith works by love. When Father praises His children, it is because faith has been at effectually and accurately at work.
Now for the question of the day. Whose praise do you prefer? Man’s? Or God’s? Don’t answer that question with, “I don’t really want any praise.” That simply cannot be true. God made you to receive praise. He made you in His image with an internal desire to love and to please those you love. That is a part of the nature of God. It is His good pleasure to give His children the kingdom. His highest desire and greatest pleasure comes in your prosperity and health, and the ability to prosper and be in health is from soul prosperity arising from walking in the truth. You’re going to receive praise from someone. Live so that it comes from the right source.
Manna for Today – John 12:36-43; 1 Corinthians 4:6; Philippians 1:3-11; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 10:17; 3 John 2-4