Thursday, July 21, 2011

John 5:44. I'm one of the in-crowd!

How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain praise that comes from the only God?

We begin to see Jesus' insight into the Pharisees. They belong to an inward looking coterie of people who pat each other on the back for their mutual wisdom. Such self-regarding is the direct opposite of the humility that the Christian life commands. Don't we see it today in the arty-set or the media darlings? Belonging to an in-group immediately sets one aside from an out-group. In Romans 2:29, Paul defines a 'true Jew' whose heart has been circumcized as one 'whose praise is not from men but from God'.

How do we measure up in this regard? Are you open to everyone? Are there some people you wouldn't be seen dead with? How is your small group meeting? Is it a mixture of social class, age-range, ethnicity, married and single, income, mature and immature? Being all of one mind is fine as far as the Gospel goes, but we are all coming from different directions in this world and we need the humility to realize this.

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