January 27, 2015

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom,
and humility comes before honor.

It doesn’t take very astute powers of observation to recognize this truth in the world all around us! Criminals of all stripes obviously don’t fear the Lord, nor do politicians who use their office strictly for personal gain. Many in the world are anxious for fame, for this world’s “honor,” (which often isn’t very honorable) and abandon the very humility that is required for real honor. It’s become a saying that “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” How sad! In the final analysis, how God sees us is infinitely more important than everything else combined. Peter said it clearly: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6) Jesus put it this way: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36) The song from the movie Cabaret (from what I know of it; I haven’t actually seen it) seems to capture the world’s attitude. “If that’s all there is, then let’s keep dancing.” The thing is, that’s not all there is. We are created for eternity, and we have an innate awareness of that fact, as Solomon noted. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) However, we become very practiced at ignoring that fact and focusing on the here and now, to our own great loss. The honor we should be aiming for is to hear our Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21, 23)

I have seen “glory hounds” and I have seen faithful servants of God, and there’s no question which I would rather be. My father did receive various honors, including a very high award from the Emperor of Japan at the time of his death, but he never sought those honors. I have rubbed elbows with various “big name” people throughout my life, and I’ve seen that they are just as human as anyone else. My focus needs to be on pleasing God, not just because He can zap me at any time, but because He is more than worthy of my total obedience and devotion. Just as I did not want to displease my earthly father, even more I don’t want to displease my heavenly Father, because His love for me is so great that I want to be totally committed to loving Him in response. Romans 12:1-2 needs to be the pattern of my life, so that I may indeed know and do the will of God. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Father, thank You for bringing me this far. You know all the missteps I’ve had along the way, even better than I do. Thank You that I can trust You to guide and protect me all the way home. Help me be more and more effective in drawing others into right relationship with You, for their salvation and Your glory, because I know that is what You desire. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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