Obedience to Christ often comes down to whose reputation you care about the most. When God calls us to stand up for what is right, speak up for what is important, or be counted with his children the price will usually be debited from our reputation. On the other hand, obedience to God will promote the reputation of Christ. How many times have we refrained from the “right thing” because we were afraid of what people would think? Had we stepped up or spoken out, we would have in some way advanced the glory of Christ. Jesus is the ultimate example of obedience at the cost of acceptance and popularity. Christ was singularly focused on the glory of the Father (Jn.17:4), but it led to increasing opposition, betrayal and rejection. Jesus knew his followers would wish for an exemption. But the principle highlighted by Christ’s obedience can be expected in our own lives. At one point Jesus had to draw what should have been an obvious comparison: “If the world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first. No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (Jn.15:18, 20).
So when we are faced with doing right and we are afraid it may cause us problems, we need to remind ourselves that we are to care more about the glory of God than our own glory. We need to clarify that we should value the advancement of Christ more than our own advancement. We should resolve that Christ’s reputation is more important than our own. Lastly, we must remember that the injustice will be short-lived. One day God will eternally honor those who honored him (1Sam.2:30). He will purpose to serve those who served his cause (Lk.12:37). While the world may shun us, ridicule us and persecute us, we know that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2Cor.4:17).
- Pastor Mike
The teaching of marriage as a sacred covenant is so critical today. And it’s so much bigger than two people—marriage and the family are the foundation for the church and society. Yet, there seems to be more messages from the pulpit on how to “clean up” the mess after the disaster of divorce than how to prevent divorce in the first place!
This month on Focal Point, we are devoted to teaching about marriage and it’s importance to God and to the proclamation of the Gospel. To help you in this area, we have selected an important resource to supplement our radio broadcasts called, This Momentary Marriage by John Piper. This book presents a vision of marriage that is higher and deeper and more fulfilling than you could ever have imagined.
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