Bible Reference: John 7:16-18
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)
Bible Text: 16 Jesus answered, “What I teach is not my own teaching, but it comes from God, who sent me. 17 Whoever is willing to do what God wants will know whether what I teach comes from God or whether I speak on my own authority. 18 A person who speaks on his own authority is trying to gain glory for himself. But he who wants glory for the one who sent him is honest, and there is nothing false in him.
OBSERVATION: Jesus spoke the words of His Father. Are you still caught up in self-recognition, or are your audiences hearing the words of your Father? Meditate with me today in this Scripture and examine your own heart, as I do the same.
APPLICATION: The people recognized that Jesus was an awesome teacher. However Jesus wanted to make it clear that His words came directly from the Father. Verse 18 reminded me of some of our current day teachers, preachers and evangelists, where we see, or hear one speaking from a very selfish ‘me-ology’, instead of the unadulterated Word of God. Could that be the kind of person that Jesus was talking about – trying to gain glory, or draw attention to themselves, by speaking from their own authority? Let’s remember that our godly responsibility is to pray for those who teach us, not to judge them, or make fun of them or ridicule them. That’s where God takes over. Fortunately though, we also have preachers and teachers who display a true sensitivity to God and His Holy Spirit, and therefore there is a deep honesty and openness that causes them to lean on their Master and seek His will in their ministry. Did you notice that Jesus depended on His Father for the right words, and the best timing in which to say them? How much more should we do the same today? So you might wonder, what is there in this Scripture for laity, like you and I? 1). We have been given the litmus test to help us discern whether we are being fed the honest truth of God’s Word, or whether we are seeing a popularity contest, or perhaps self promotion. Honesty to ourselves will help us to place ourselves under the right preaching or teaching, so that we can be truly taught by God; and 2). Look inwardly and allow God to show you any faults that may be evident in your life. Perhaps you are the false teacher/preacher. Are you promoting self every opportunity, or are you standing behind the cross of Christ, with Him as your spokesman, His work will be accomplished? Let Him have His way in your life, friend. Don’t just let Him be the ‘co-pilot’ in your life, but give Him the wheel and let Him pilot you through this life. Let Him receive glory for all that is accomplished in your life and in your ministry.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, it is so easy to sit back and gloat on the praise that others may give us. Yes, I know it is meant to encourage us and lift us up, but dear Lord, in humility we need to constantly learn that it’s all about You, and not of ourselves. Oh that the people might always see Jesus, without attention being drawn to us. For without You in our lives, and without You guiding our every step, our impact on a lost world would be non-existent. Please continue to use our talents and our willingness to serve for Your glory, and hopefully for the growth of Your church. Please help us to display so much of You, that those that we come into contact with, may receive Your glory. Please forgive us Lord for those times that we may have promoted self instead of You, the One who makes this whole life possible, and worth it all! To God be the glory! AMEN!