7 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Acts 12:21–23 (CSB): “On an appointed day, dressed in royal robes and seated on the throne, Herod delivered a speech to them. The assembled people began to shout, ‘It’s the voice of a god and not of a man!’ At once an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten by worms and died.”
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
When we read the verses that I have given above, we realize just how seriously God takes it when we don’t acknowledge Him when He does something for us, to us, or through us.
You know what it’s like to not get credit for something you did, don’t you? Maybe it was insecurity that caused someone to fail to acknowledge something you said or did. Maybe you are in a position of influence and they know they’ll be accused of being a “suck up” if they acknowledge you for something. The possibilities are endless.
And when we think about it, we also realize that there is a legal aspect to not acknowledging someone. When someone writes a book, a song, the script of a movie, or any number of other things, you had better acknowledge your source if you quote from it. If not, you are committing plagiarism and, if the offense is big enough, you could get sued.
When we look at how it is that we are to live in the Kingdom while we’re here on earth, we don’t hear Jesus saying to give up our desire for credit. No! Instead, He tells us to refuse to perform for the credit of others. Instead, we are to wait for Heaven’s applause.
Matthew 6:1 (CSB): “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward with your Father in heaven.”
Desiring credit isn’t wrong. Desiring to be acknowledged is something that devout Jesus-followers and non-Jesus-followers desire. But, as Christians, we need to be careful who we desire to be acknowledged by.
So, we aren’t surprised that God, in whose image we have been created, desires credit as well. When He does something for us, to us, or through us, He rightfully desires to be acknowledged.
That’s why we read in the verses that I have chosen for today that Herod lost his life when he took credit from the people. Herod delivered a speech, his audience flattered him by saying he was “a god” and not a mere mortal, he liked the affirmation, he refused to direct the flattery to Heaven, and so God took him out. God gave Herod everything he had so the credit should have been deflected Heavenward.
Friend, the way God dealt with Herod is quite a bit more drastic than He normally deals with people. But, the point is clear – the Lord rightfully desires to receive the praise, the credit, when He does something for us, to us, or through us.
So, when people applaud you, acknowledge and thank them for their kind words. But, you may need to speak up and acknowledge that apart from the Lord, you couldn’t do anything. We’re not talking about false flattery. We’re talking about a serious acknowledgement of who you are depending upon for everything you do and everything you have.
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Lord Jesus, it is when I am insecure or saturated with pride that I like the affirmation of people. I sometimes want, maybe even crave, their praise. But, I see in the Scripture for today that You take it seriously when You don’t get credit for what You have done for, to, or through me. Help me to honestly redirect the praise to You. You are worthy of every last bit of it. Amen.