“He who follows righteousness and mercy Finds life, righteousness, and honor.”
Proverbs 21:21 NKJV
The world looks constantly for ways in which to honor those it holds in high esteem. Celebrities hold reign, adulated for what they do, that has made them famous. They are often consulted about issues beyond their purview, and their words are looked upon as gospel.
In the hyper adulation of the celebrity, there is also the disregard for the common person, who goes about each day in obscurity, unnoticed, maligned. He for she is, and often the one paying the consequences when the decisions and actions of the elites bear unintended consequences.
Considering this, I find myself reflecting on being a follower of Jesus. In many ways, those who walk the walk of faith, in the Spirit, have a humility where they are placed low and not esteemed by the world. The Holy Spirit led, bible believing follower of Jesus will never receive adulation in this world.
As I read the verse above I rejoiced in the fact that, in the eyes of God, I am upheld and honored, and no matter what I may face in this life, there will be glory and honor in the next.
The One we follow has set the standard for the rest of us, as He walked in abject humility, enduring rejection, and challenged at every turn. He was truly despised and rejected, and filled with sorrows.
“For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.”
Isaiah 53:2-4 NKJV
There have mornings filled with reflection, when I feel so lonely, like the faith that I adhere to has made me a pariah, even amongst those others who profess to love the same God. In this world, filled with idols, believers are being drawn away to worship at the altar of celebrity.
Instead of the faithful pastor of the small church, who cries out to God every day for the winning of one more soul, people flock to the mega church pastor, with the great music and feel good sermons, who couldn’t care less if the people before him are saved, as long as they give their money, and their bums fill the pews in sight of the cameras.
We are truly in the beginning of the falling away, when people long thought to be of God, leave to worship after others. When people who profess to be Christians are found to not be, and a time when churches that profess to preach Christ, preach doctrines of devils.
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
II Timothy 3:12-13 NKJV
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
II Timothy 4:2-4 NKJV
We are living in a time when self referred people of God clamor for signs and wonders, but are unwilling to believe the words of Scripture, even less to obey what it says. Celebrity pastors are being adulated and adored by the unbelieving world, because what they say offers no power to bring conviction.
Brothers and sisters, know that you are upheld, that as you follow Christ and pursue righteousness, you will have life abundant and you will have honor. The Lord is keeping track of those who are His, and He knows which ones are committed to Him and those that belong to the world.
Soon, very soon, He will come for those who have laid aside the things of this world, like politics, lewdness, pursuit of wealth, racial pride, and all the other abominations, and have made Him and the furtherance of the Gospel their only passion.
Let us be like Paul, pressing forward for the prize.
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
II Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV
That prize, or reward is coming quickly!
“He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
Revelation 22:20-21 NKJV
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