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Monday, August 30, 1999

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1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Psalm 96
Luke 4:16-30

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not a popularity contest

"No prophet gains acceptance in his native place." —Luke 4:24

Jesus was "no respecter of persons," but taught "the way of God in truth" (Lk 20:21). Jesus said and did only what His Father in heaven told Him (Jn 5:19; 8:28). Jesus refused to be manipulated by people. For example, when Jesus' hometown folk wanted Him to heal them, He instead prophesied and called them to repentance (Lk 4:23ff). They attempted to intimidate Jesus by trying to throw Him over a cliff, but Jesus "went straight through their midst and walked away" (Lk 4:30). He continued to proclaim the truth regardless of what other people thought, did, or threatened.

We, as followers of Jesus, are not people-pleasers but God-pleasers (Gal 1:10). If we "were trying to win man's approval," we "would surely not be serving Christ!" (Gal 1:10) It is "better for us to obey God than men!" (Acts 5:29) We are willing to be hated by all on account of Jesus (Mt 10:22). Even if our brothers, sisters, parents, or children turn against us and turn us in to the authorities to be executed because of our love for Jesus, we will not deny or betray Him (Mt 10:21). As men and women "entrusted with the good tidings, we speak like those who strive to please God, 'the Tester of our hearts,' rather than men" (1 Thes 2:4).

Prayer:  Father, may I love You alone.

Promise:  "Then we, the living, the survivors, will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." —1 Thes 4:17

Praise:  Mona asked Jesus that her skill as a basketball player be used for His glory. She now serves as an underground missionary to a Communist country, traveling with a ladies' basketball team.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Seek Prophecy.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999