Accept the praise?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are you able to glorify in the moment and rejoice in the goodness that has been bestowed upon you because of Christ? Are you able to accept the gift and join in the praise becoming a part of a huge victory celebration?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

A number of years ago I was honored by a group I had served with a plaque thanking me for my service on their Board of Directors. It was the usual dinner and speakers’ meeting and my presentation was at the end of the evening’s event. After I was introduced I was asked to say a few words. I was retiring from the Board and as I looked out over the audience nearly twenty years of service rolled over me in waves of memories and emotions. The audience was applauding and for the moment I was of course embarrassed. I really hadn’t earned this. There were meetings I was not able to attend. There were those meetings I poorly directed. There were meetings when I simply had been a poor leader, lacking patience or wisdom, or both. My uneasiness increased by the moment, but then it dawned on me. It wasn’t about me; it was about the service freely given to the Board, not recompensed and clearly a chunk of any person’s time. It was my responsibility at the moment to simply accept the applause, and humbly take it all in. As uncomfortable as it was, my duty was to be gracious and bow to the audience as the accepting one and not the earner.

As the moments of applause increased I was moved to do something I had always wanted to do—step away from the podium and join the audience in applause. As I did, the praise for the organization and its selfless work over the years became apparent to everyone. We joined together in praise for the moment, unearned by any of us as individuals. I joined in fellowship and faith with the group and we gave thanks to the one who had achieved the work through all of us there present and others before us: our Heavenly Father.

My moment and all the years of service in the past was perfected in those moments of praise and thanks-giving. There was no other way to be purposed by it than to join it and accept my role as a minor part of it. I needed to join in the praise in order to receive anything from it. You know friends, this demonstrates how you and I ought to accept our role as the forgiven and the redeemed in Christ. We haven’t earned a thing, but it is our responsibility to accept it as a part of the whole who have been forgiven in Christ. “There is no other way of being perfected. You will never reach the point which it is possible for you to attain, and you will never fulfill the purpose for which God made you, unless you have joined yourself by faith to Jesus Christ, and are receiving into your life, and developing in your character, the power which He has lodged in the heart of humanity for redemption and purifying.”

The writer to the Hebrews states in Chapter 10:14. “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” You and are justified by grace, not because we are good, but because Christ has justified us, bad men and women, and made us good and acceptable to God. Let us glorify in the moment and rejoice in the goodness that has been bestowed upon us. Accept the gift and join in the praise. We are part of a huge victory celebration. The applause glorifies Christ and our role is to accept the gift of salvation; unearned as it is.

We pray. Thank you Lord for making us acceptable to you through the sacrifice and death of your Son, Jesus Christ. It is sometimes difficult for us to believe that all we need to do is to accept this sacrifice and believe it and it is to our praise and eternal glory to do so. Forgive us when we try to become perfected by our own good works to make that sacrifice believable. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

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God bless you for Jesus sake.

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