Devotional Scripture: John 12
"For they loved praise from men more than praise from God." - John 12: 43
Here we are . . . half way through the 40 days of Lent. I'm sure looking back on how much work you have undertaken to clear and make straight the path leading to Easter provides a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Until . . . you look at what lies ahead . . . 20 more days . . . and I promise, the road will look for cluttered and curvy along the way.
So . . . let's continue our walk toward Easter.
John 12 is so rich with so many great stories . . . but a couple of verses from John 12 always catch my eye as well as my thoughts . . .
"Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees, they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God." - John 12:42-43
Jesus' message was not falling on deaf ears. There were those who come to believe . . . but they had failed to confess.
They feard the response from others in even higher authority.
So, it seems to me that these believers were seeking to accomplish a most difficult task. They were trying to be secret disciples.
Guess what? It's impossible to be a secret disciple. Secret discipleship is a contradiction in terms. The secrecry itself will eventually weaken all of the positive aspects of discipleship. And, the requirements of discipleship cannot be contained within the walls of secrecy. It's a no-win situation.
If you are a follower of Christ . . . you may be able to keep from talking about it. However, your actions and how you live will begin to testify about what you believe.
Trust me . . . that's how it works.
Isn't it amazing how people have so many confused values? Many have chosen not to support a great and worthy cause because of some less important interest? To support Jesus openly for the religous leaders of that day would have probably meant their loss of place, profit and prestige. The same is often true today. My way of thinking is this . . . having Jesus is still more than enough to overcome feared or anticipated loses.
Do you believe in Jesus? Are a secret disciple? As you clear and make straight the Lenten path that leads to Easter, are you uncovering evidence of what you have been working hard to hide? Are you big enough to stand up for what you believe in your heart?
If you aren't sure . . . don't worry. Jesus said he will help us by giving us the strength we need.
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>