Today’s devotion comes from Louise M.

Read John 12:37-50

‘For they loved human praise more than praise from God’ v43

Have you ever been embarrassed about people knowing you believe in Jesus? Do your friends and family know you believe in the Lord (or that you’re making an effort to find out about Him)?

If I am honest, fear about what my friends, colleagues and family would think about me being a Christian was the main reason I stayed away from church from my teens until my late twenties. Even then, fear of what God would ask me to do if I became a real follower of Jesus resulted in me keeping him at a distance until my mid-thirties.

These words spoken by Jesus (v43 above) bring that hidden fear out into the open and expose it for what it is- when we hide our faith in Jesus from others, we are showing that we prefer the approval and praise of people more than that of Almighty God.

The Lord says in 1 Samuel 2:30, ‘I will honour those who honour me’. We must take courage from this, as well as acknowledging that it can be humiliating and sometimes even dangerous to take a stand for the Lord.

Further encouragement comes from Jesus’ words in the passage called the Beatitudes: ‘What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the son of Man. When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.’ (Luke 6:22-23, NLT). Remember this verse when you are insulted or made to feel embarrassed because you have shown yourself to be a Christian.

God is watching and will be pleased with you, and He is going to reward you for your bravery! It’s Him we should aim to please before anyone else.

Lord Jesus,
Forgive me for times when I have kept my faith in you a secret. You are the light of the world, you shine in the darkness and can never be hidden by it. Give us the courage to show your light in this dark world. Remind us that we need to please you first, not people. Help us to feel bold in showing others how followers of Jesus live.
Amen.

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