There’s a bottle of soap in my bathroom that has “33% MORE!” printed in large font across the top.
Beside the large print numbers and words is a little, tee-tiny asterisk.
Look at the bottom of the bottle and you’ll find the purpose of the asterisk spelled out (with a little, tee-tiny font that rivals only the asterisk) – “Than 18 oz.”
In reality, there is no real substance to the flashy numbers on the soap bottle. The only thing the company did with the “33% MORE!” print was solve a math problem.
Don’t fall prey to the flashy numbers of pop-religion.
Sow the seed (Luke 8:4-15). Be respectful to others, be faithful to your brothers and sisters in Christ and to God, and don’t be a troublemaker (1 Peter 2:17). And don’t keep caught up in the confusion that swaps what we get from worship with what we bring to worship (John 4:20-24).
“For out of all to whom the good news has come, only a small number will get salvation.” (Matthew 22:14 BBE)
Early in my preaching, it was my belief that my successes should be shared with everyone. Even now, I sometimes catch myself trying to impress someone with my pride in what I’m able to do.
Wow, what a foolish thing! The last thing I need is to justify my work by showing others how well I think I’m doing it!
Have you ever thought that one of the things God’s word does better than anything is its ability to hold up our motives and put them on public display. All the Lord has to do is say, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves ; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others,” (Philippians 2:3-4 NASB).
Paul defines selfishness and empty conceit as the way I’m conducting myself when I try to show others what a great preacher I am. Not only has he defined my shortcoming, but he has shown how he wants me to improve. It isn’t necessary for people to get the headlines of my success. It is more important for me “to regard another as more important.”
Shouldn’t it be enough for me to glorify God, who already knows about my successes and failures? He’s the one for whom these labors are made. We are obeying his commands.
Besides, my reason for doing this job is not so I can become the one everybody wants to turn to and glorify. The reason is so that people will hear the gospel so that the power of God will save them. If I preach the truth, then I’ve done what God wants (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 1:17, 18).
Thank you, Lord God, for your word that cuts through our pretense and lays our motives bare before your eyes.
Here’s a Nudge for you, peeps. From today’s reading in Php 2, the NLT renders a thought in verse 3 this way, “don’t try to impress others.” I’m not here to discuss the accuracy of that rending, but it leads me to the nudging question.
Share an embarrassing moment when you witnessed someone (yourself, even?) trying to impress others. No names, please.
Or, if you prefer, when someone could have taken advantage of a moment to impress others, but showed the humility to which verse 3 urges us.
Just a thought, also: Is there an instance in Scripture of someone trying to impress others?
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