Read through the Bible in 2 years: Proverbs 2:6-8; Psalm 9:11-20; John 12
How often do you find yourself saying things to impress others or to look good while your true motives are all wrong?
Like Judas said when Mary poured out the ointment of pure nard, “Why was this ointment not sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor?” (John 12:5) when really Judas just wanted the money for himself.
Like when the people were all crowding around Jesus crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the king of Israel!” (John 12:13) But days later they will be crying out “Crucify him!” (John 19:15)
When I was an atheist, I took pride in standing out. I took great satisfaction in not following the crowd. I thought, “Those people are all gullible sheep,” yet my motives were still selfish. I loved people’s admiration of my ability to stand out and swim upstream.
But even in my attempts to “do my own thing,” I was still working for the approval of others. I wanted to look like my favorite band, Depeche Mode. I wanted to get good grades and win the praise of my teachers.
So often we are swayed by the approval of others, whether in “fitting in” or “standing out.”
But here in John 12 Jesus has some weighty words that are most worthy of our serious consideration
"Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." - John 12:25-26 ESV
As I celebrate my 50th birthday, cresting the top of the hill and beginning my race toward the finish line, I want to live for the praise of God, my judge, with my ears tuned to someday hear the words of praise that I most long to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21 ESV)