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Commended by God

To be commended by God should be the highest aim of every disciple of Jesus Christ.

Today’s reading: Ezekiel 13-15; Hebrews 11:20-40

22 Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his evil way to save his life, 23 therefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the Lord.”             Ezekiel 13:22-23

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.                                                                    Hebrews 11:39-40

It’s a big deal to get rewards and recognition in our society. But the awards are only meaningful when they come from either an important source (like the Congressional Medal of Honor) or are given for true achievement (e.g. the Eagle Scout award). My wife taught at an elementary school in Texas where every student got a “Shark Award” during an end-of-the-year ceremony just for being enrolled in the school. It didn’t reflect perfect attendance much less exemplary behavior or outstanding academic achievement. Even the youngest kids quickly understood that the award meant nothing.

God rewards and punishes mankind according to their performance. Through Ezekiel, the Lord told the false prophets of Judah that they had failed. Their so-called prophecies sent a garbled message to God’s people. Those who should have been commended were disheartened and those who should have been reproved were encouraged. God stopped them in their tracks and shut down this kind of evil influence.

In Hebrews 11, we read of those who were faithful to the death, faithful even though the final fulfillment of God’s promises did not appear. God commended them for their unwavering faith. He calls them people “of whom the world was not worthy” (vs. 38). Now that is a commendation worth getting!

What commendation do you seek? Are you after mere temporal awards or seeking to please God and receive His “well done”? Think about it. There is no recognition in this world which compares to having done God’s will and obeyed His commands. Seek to be commended by God.

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