Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Devotional 92 Praise of Sheep

"Sometimes we would prefer to die for Jesus than to live for Him."  When People Are Big and God Is Small  by Edward T. Welch

John 12: 42, 43 "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."

I dislike that sometimes my first thought in a decision I am about to make is "what will others think of me?" It is a chain wrapped around my ankle that slows me down from running joyfully after my Savior.

I am one of the sheep wandering from sheep to sheep trying to see my reflection in their eyes. I go bleating and bawling to the other sheep, looking for sheep approval. I am a skittish little sheep, ready to run at any little poke of a stone or any stray stick swaying in the breeze. I act as if I must be my own sheep and shepherd at the same time. I must protect and take care of myself. I live afraid.

With that attitude I am like the pharisees, loving the praise of sheep more than the praise of the Shepherd. Do you live for men's praise or God's? Does what other's might think of you (possibly losing their admiration) keep you from being  "crazy in love" with Jesus?

Oh, look up little sheep! See the Shepherd! Our Lord and Savior says "I lay down my life for the sheep."  He is the one we follow, the one we turn to, the one we trust.

 As Christ's love fills us up we become just the right size. God is big and people are small. Praise from men is insignificant compared to the surpassing glory of God.

I want to speak with Jesus in mind, dress with Jesus in mind, love with Jesus in mind. I want to think more of Him and less about me and less about you.