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Weekly Devotion – John 7:18

By Mike Caton

John 7:18, Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

Jesus continues to defend (is that really the right word) himself and his teaching. And in doing so he gives a huge warning to others would dare be leaders, teachers, preachers and so forth. But he also gives us something to think about in our everyday speech as well. How many folks are simply speaking for their own glory, saying things that will make them look good, that will build up their own kingdom. In our everyday speech, we might consider this to be bragging and boasting about the things we do, or have done, and say. So often, so much of what we say is to build ourselves up, to impress others. We need to be careful to control our tongue.

But for those who are public speakers, who are leaders in any arena, this warning is especially valid. Whether we are talking about church leaders or political leaders or club leaders or whoever, we need to be sure we are seeking the greater good. For politics and clubs and so forth, what is the greater good? Bettering our nation, our community, focusing on a specific problem, achieving a particular goal? But in the church our goal, our purpose is to glorify God in all we do and say. One of the ways we do that is to draw people closer to God, not to us. So, are the things we teach, the things we say, the things we plan and put into action must be designed to build God’s kingdom or our own. Leaders need to be especially careful about this.

We need to be brutally honest as we look into our own hearts, we need to constantly be on our guard to make sure we remain fully committed to God, to the one who sent us. And we need to make sure we do not allow even a seed of something false into our hearts. We need to be bound and determined to honor God.

Father, help me be completely true to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.

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