With or without honor by man, we will receive a reward from the King of kings if we prove faithful.
Scripture of the Day:
“Then Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, and among his relatives, and in his own house. 5 He was not able to do a miracle there, except to lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he was amazed because of their unbelief. Then he went around among the villages and taught.”
“When his family heard this they went out to restrain him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” The experts in the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and, “By the ruler of demons he casts out demons.””
King of kings, Lord of lords, Almighty Creator and God over all. And they said He was cra-cra. His own family. His own people. Leaders in the church said he was possessed by a demon. But that did not stop Him from loving them and sharing God’s truth with all who would listen.
Such outlandish claims have intimidated many who have sought to be faithful with the Gospel entrusted to them. We feel our weaknesses so deeply. We know we are only qualified by the grace of God alone. Why would He choose us? What difference can we make? Wouldn’t it just be easier to let someone else share the Gospel while we seek acceptance from the people condemning us? Not so much.
Man’s acceptance is fickle and pursuing it is a waste of the precious time we have. Each one’s voice offers the Gospel message in their own unique way. Our testimonies matter because they share the individual relationship we have with God and His interaction with each one of us. No one else can share in the palpable, passionate way that our intimate Savior has revealed Himself to us through His word. Every voice matters.
If God Himself was under scrutiny, we ought to expect it, too. We want to give up or grow bitter from the accusations of those around us, who supposedly know us. But God. He knows us better – the worst parts of who we are – and He ACCEPTS us. That’s all that matters. And He shows us the way. He is able to strengthen us and use us for His glory and our good.
Those nearest to us often do not recognize or accept God’s gifts in us. Jealousy or suspicion of motives cloud their vision. They know you. But God knows you, too. If Christ could not share in His own family and community, maybe we have to go out into the villages just like He did. People will judge and we cannot let that embitter us. Just keep doing the work of God and do what He commanded us to do – Go and share His Gospel.
Perhaps if we were honored, we would grow complacent and desire the praise of men, which would distract us from the message we carry. Dishonor can be used to help us be dependent upon God and purifies our motives and message.
This message that God has placed in our hearts is good news – incredible news – and we cannot hold it in. We cannot let the fear of man hold us down when the fear of God should be our highest motivation. Pleasing God is what matters most. In time, some will observe our lives as we seek to be faithful before God, and will honor our efforts. God sends encouragements when we need it, but when we are enveloped in His presence and in His Word, the impact of man’s honor does not affect us as much anymore.
We may feel alone in our calling, but we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and our God who called us will enable us to do what He has put into our hearts. We may want to despise the shame of dishonor or people’s judgment of us. But when we consider that our Savior was so dishonored, we are honored to suffer and walk in the path He paved.
In the parable of the wedding feast, many did not come. God then invited everyone. May we be so willing, too. The time is short. With or without honor by man, we will receive a reward from the King of kings if we prove faithful.
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