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Monday, February 23, 2015

Whose Praise?

Self-esteem has gone too far, Do we love God for Himself or what He can give us, loving God for Himself
"According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, corporations like Lands End and Bank of America are hiring 'praise teams' to keep up with Gen Y’s demand for constant positive reinforcement. Other generations believed that as long as no one fired them, their work must be okay. Gen Y needs constant praise..." (Aspen Ed &WSJ)

We live in the age of self-esteem, not God-esteem, and this focus on self has warped many of our priorities, even in the Church. We're busier seeking self-esteem, happiness, health and comfort than seeking God's kingdom. 

Francis Chan asks a question we each must answer: "Are we in love with God or just His stuff?" Are we interested in pleasing God or pleasing ourselves?

May we learn to have the priorities of Paul:

I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. Philippians 3:8

Bible Study

What do these passages tell us about our purpose and priorities as Christians? How do they specifically impact your life?

Matthew 6:31-33: So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Luke 9:23-25: Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 

Insights
Please work through the study before reading the insights.

Matthew 6:31-33--Poor and rich alike can be ensnared by a focus on material needs and/or wants. Seeking God's Kingdom first means just that....making God's desires and glory our first priority. 

And a promise follows this command, the promise that God will care for us when we seek Him first. We may not have everything we want. In fact, God doesn't promise we will always be well fed and warm (see Paul's words in Philippians 4:12). But we will always have Him (see Hebrews 13:5) and that is our greatest need.

Luke 9:23-25--This passage sums up discipleship in a nutshell. It is what our Savior did and what we are called to do as well.
copyright 2015, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted

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