Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Do You Seek Praise from Man or God?

Good morning, Happy Souls!

Bill Keller wrote a wonderful devotional today
that I highly recommend to you. He has given
me permission to copy his e-mails, and I'm sure
he would be happy if you would share this with
people you know as well.


(John 12:43)

Loving the praise of men more than the praise
of God. I want to ask you a very personal and
direct question this morning. Do you love the
praise of men more than the praise of God? I
am going to assume most everyone answering
that question will immediately say, NO! Are
you sure? You SAY you love the praise of God
more than the praise of man but do you
really? When you are confronted with a
situation where you have the opportunity to
proclaim Jesus Christ as the only way, the
only Truth, the only life, the only answer
.....do you do it? Or, do you chicken out?
The last time you were in a conversation with
people who didn't believe in Jesus and you
had the opportunity to defend Christ, did you?
Or did you sit back and go along with the
others by your silence? My friend, when given
the opportunity to proclaim Christ and Christ
alone and you fail to do so, despite what
you may say, you love the praise of men more
than the praise of God.

I was in my office Friday morning working away
when the coverage of the National Day of Prayer
service at Washington's National Cathedral came
on. I don't usually watch these events since I
end up so frustrated hearing the one true God
of the Bible spoken of in the same breath as
the false gods of the world, seeing the false
religions of the world put on the same plane
as faith in Christ. I realize that at these
national events this is the script, so rather
than be frustrated watching the house of God
desecrated by the false gods and religions of
the world, I simply don't pay much attention.
However, Friday was different. As the
service moved forward, all of a sudden I saw
a familiar face striding to the pulpit to
deliver the sermon, Bishop T. D. Jakes. I
quickly turned up my volume to hear this
bold and brazen Gospel preacher stand before
that congregation and the world watching and
tell people that JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY

I am still waiting.

If you are not familiar with Bishop Jakes,
he has become well known in the Christian
world as the pastor of The Potter's House in
Dallas, Texas. He is on all the Christian
TV stations daily and is a powerful and
articulate preacher of the Gospel. Some have
questioned his theology, but the bottom line
is he preaches Christ and Christ crucified
with blazing rhetoric that brings his audience
to their feet numerous times during his
message. Even though he is virtually unknown
outside of the Christian community, here was
his opportunity on a world stage to deliver a
passionate message of the hope we have in Jesus
Christ, the only One men can turn to in times
of trouble. It is Christ and Christ alone who
is the answer for the victims of Hurricane
Katrina, for the rebuilding of New Orleans and
the Mississippi Gulf, and it is Christ and
Christ alone who is the answer for this lost and
hurting world.

Sadly, with the world watching, Bishop Jakes
never talked about Jesus.

As he stepped down from the pulpit Friday
morning, I could only think of when Jesus said,
"if you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed
of you before my Father." How could a man who
is so bold when he preaches to the choir be
so meek when preaching to the world? The
message was nice. It was a politically correct
and socially acceptable message, one any Jew,
Muslim, Hindu, or New Ager could have given.
I can only guess one of two things happened.
When asked to give the sermon he was forced to
give an advanced copy of his sermon to the
White House for approval and was told
specifically NO JESUS ( at that point he should
have either declined to speak or done what I
would have done in that situation, say OK and
half way thru my message preach JESUS anyway!),
or he simply decided to "play it safe" and
leave Jesus out of his message so nobody would
be offended. Either way, Bishop Jakes decided
to go for the praise of men over the praise of

*Note: For anyone that is going to try and
defend Bishop Jakes by saying "this was not the
place to talk about Jesus," please save your
emails. If God's house is not the place to
talk about Jesus, where is? If the people
of the false religions of the world are going
to be offended, so what? I've got news for
you. When they die in their sins and are cast
into everlasting darkness they are going to be
offended for all eternity! When you are
there to bring hope to the hurting and
encouragement to the world, Jesus is the
ONLY One who can do that! When those who are
supposed to be the spokesmen for Christ fail
to tell people about Jesus, who is supposed to
tell them?

The point of today's Devotional is very
simple. Do we live our lives for the praise
of man or the praise of God? Let me assure you
that it is easier to get the praise of God than
of man, and it is praise that is not
temporary but eternal!!! You see, trying to
please man is an impossible task because
what is expected and required of us changes so
often. You can try your entire life to please
man but you will end up most sad and frustrated
because it is not possible. The wonderful
thing about God is that He has told us in His
word what He expects, thus we know without a
doubt what is required to please Him.

The other problem with the praise of man is
that it is so temporary. How many people in
the entertainment, athletic, the industry you
may be part of are "hot" for a period of time,
then are all but forgotten. The praise of
man is fleeting, temporal. The praise of God
is everlasting. I realize that many of you
struggle with this issue. Trying to get the
praise of someone in your life, whether it be
in school, professionally, or in some sort of
relationship. I am not saying not to try to
please others or do a good job. What I am
saying is that your first priority is to
please God. So many email me how distraught
they are because they just can't seem to
make this person or that person happy.
Continue to try, but always remember that
your goal should not be to receive the praise
of a man, but the praise of God.

I realized a very long time ago that I could
not make everyone happy. No matter how hard
I tried it just wasn't possible. I still do
my best each day, but in that effort, I never
forget that ultimately it is God that I have
to please. Even though everyone else may not
like what I do, as long as I am doing what God
wants and He is pleased then I have succeeded.

We read about the human cry of the prophets
in the Old Testament complaining how nobody
would listen to them. Nobody was willing to
heed their warnings. How frustrated they were.
I can guarantee you this. None of those men
were ever going to receive any awards from
their city, but they were receiving far greater
rewards from God because of their faithfulness.
In the Book of Acts, Stephen's reward for
preaching the Gospel was death by stoning.
Even though those around him were so upset they
literally stoned him to death, Jesus rose from
His throne and stood to welcome Stephen into
Heaven because of his faithfulness!!!!!!

I love you and care about you so much. I
pray today that you will never forget that it
is God who we must ultimately please each and
every day, not man. I will be praying for you
that the next time you are in a situation
where you can tell someone about Jesus, that
you will "always be ready to give an answer
to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope
that is within you." (1 Peter 3:15) Like
everyone, I enjoy the praise of man but I do
not live for that. I live my life for the
praise of God and to one day hear those words,
"well done thou good and faithful servant."

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

If I can help you in any way you can contact
me through my personal email at

ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day.
At that moment, you will either spend eternity
with the Lord or be cast into everlasting
darkness forever separated from God your
creator. To know for certain you will be
forever with Jesus, go to:

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(C) Copyright 2005, Bill Keller Ministries.
All rights reserved


Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell


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