Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. (John 7:18 NIV)
This verse speaks to me as a preacher and teacher, as well as, his daily follower.
If anyone had the authority to speak "on their own" it was Jesus. After all, he's God in the flesh. Yet, he doesn't. Ever.
Jesus is totally yielded and committed to his Father's leadership. And rightly so. His Father sent him. And even though his Father sent him with all authority, he continues to yield to his Father's leadership.
Whether he's in front of thousands or three, Jesus only speaks what his Father tells him to. He only does what he sees the Father doing and leading him to do. This is clearly evident all through the Gospel of John.
Jesus gives us a glimpse into the heart of the man or woman who speaks on their own. They do so to "gain personal glory." What a tragedy.
And it's so easy to do. I've done this more times than I care to admit. Even when I preach. Not consciously. But over the years I've stood and preached the word of God caring more about my glory than God's.
Jesus calls me out here. I sobering reminder that in doing this I betray the very one I preach in service to. Temptation can be so subtle.
In contrast, Jesus says, "He who seeks the glory of the one who sent him (in our case, Jesus) is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him."
"Man of truth. Nothing false about him."
Oh that this would be true of me week-in and week-out. I want to seek Jesus' glory in all that I say--not just preaching. I probably do nothing with more potential for Jesus' glory (or self) than to preach the good news.
This applies to each of us. We all have the opportunity to "speak" for our gain or his glory. Every time we open our mouth, we do one or the other.
Father, forgive me when I speak to gain personal glory. I repent of that mindset (even subconsciously) leading me to betray the gospel and you.
Thank you for changing lives despite my imperfections. Change my mind and heart so I will consistently speak, preach and teach for your glory alone. In Jesus' name and for his glory I pray, amen.