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|Good Success||NOVEMBER 14|
FOLLOW CHRIST, NOT SELF
Jesus then said to his disciples, "If anyone wishes to be a follower of mine, he must leave self behind." Matt. 16:24, N.E.B.
To this call of Christ for our lives, the passion for worldly honor and distinction is directly opposed. If we do homage to wealth, to beauty, to brilliance, we shall not seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
We should guard against seeking glory from men because it leads away from the moral and spiritual standards we claim to believe in. If we listen to men of repute who consider serious and complete obedience to God too far out, then we will easily join them in following the latest pleasures and sports with a diligence that derides and denies the claims of Christ.
Pilate sold his sense of justice. He ordered the crucifixion of Christ because he considered the favor of the Jewish leaders, the enemies of Christ, essential if he were to continue to hold his position in the Roman State. The sin to which the love of human favor leads me is the denial of Christ.
There are tens of thousands of people who, because of their desire to stand well with unbelievers, turn from obeying the fourth commandment. Thousands, especially among young people, are held back in giving priority to the claims of Christ. How many personal convictions of truth and resolutions of obedience to God are silenced by submission to men?
Bias against religion is the worst kind. Impressions and opposition have taken the place of facts. When this is the case the disapproval of others is a compliment to us.
There is a strong tendency in human nature to modify or change our thinking and conduct in proportion to the approval or disapproval of men, especially if they are our superiors. Bit by bit the moral and spiritual stature of our Christian experience begins to crumble. For its the appraisal of men should not be the motivating concern of our lives.
When we come to the cross and look into the face of Jesus Christ, we should be able to see ourselves correctly and not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. We must reckon it a very small thing to be judged of man's judgment, in comparison with the final sentence of approval from Christ, who will fix our destiny for eternity.
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