Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Praise from the Mouth of God

John 12:43
for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

Romans 2:29
But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

Perhaps one of the greatest hindrances to the formation of Christ in a Christian, and an unsightly blemish on the witness of the Church, is the attitude of craving the approval, the esteem, and the praise of man. It is the state of the soul wherein the soul is cradled in well-being only when it has been rocked by the words of man that make much of its contribution, its prowess, and its worth. In this tendency, despondency ensues when the soul is not made much of.

But the Christian, in the power of the Spirit, must rise above this natural inclination of the depraved heart, reaching for the transcendent peace of Christ that is had by giving import solely to the approval and affirmation of God. It is to be expected that no man can serve two masters. It is that either weight is given to man's estimation or God's: Love man and his praise, which is in absolute essence merely a loving of oneself, or love God and HIS praise, which is in absolute essence a hating, loathing, and denial of oneself.

This is a call to be unpopular, first in your own eyes, which is the hardest to accept. But once you have relinquished the right to be somebody in your own book, then you are ready to be treated the same by others, for then they are merely agreeing with you, and with this you are freed to pursue the only praise that matters--the praise that comes from the mouth of God.


  1. Warren,

    Good post - not that my approval really matters.

    I am amazed when I read verses like these:

    Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and HIS PRAISE IS NOT FROM MEN, BUT FROM GOD.

    I Cor 4:5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then EACH MAN'S PRAISE WILL COME TO HIM FROM GOD.

    Mt 10:32 Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I WILL ALSO CONFESS HIM before My Father who is in heaven.

    Ps 18:35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness MAKES ME GREAT.

    II Thess 1:12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, AND YOU IN HIM, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    All of this represents grace abounding beyond what I can conceive. How can God, against Whom we have perpetrated the most heinous crimes, turn around and praise us for what HE HAS DONE in us? It is marvelous and unfathomable! This is a side of Soli Deo Gloria that is rarely talked about. "All things for God's glory alone" does not mean we remain unglorious. It means we get to be glorified IN HIM, and HE IN US, in a divine sharing that can only boggle our minds.

    As you noted, something this good is well worth the loss of the expensive trifles we might otherwise possess in this fading world.

    Grace & peace,
    Derek Ashton

  2. Hi, Derek,

    Thank you for the edifying words that move me to praise and thank God for His grace.

    It is the nature of every created thing that it is at its best, and its well-being served the most, when God is glorified. It is indeed marvelous to see how God designed things to be this way. Therefore, when we live our lives in the pursuit of God's glory, we are in reality being self-serving...but in a God-ordained way! ;-)


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