“How many people do you think it takes to make a ‘multitude’?” Stan asked me one morning.
“I’m not sure,” I replied. “Probably quite a few. Why do you ask?”
“I was reading in Luke’s gospel earlier this morning,” he replied, “and I was just wondering how many people may have had the wrong perspective at the same time.”
“What were you reading?” I asked.
“It was Luke’s account of when Jesus was ready to enter Jerusalem right before He was going to go to the cross.”
Responding, I said, “And you think some people, maybe a whole bunch of them, had the wrong perspective about something dealing with that?”
“Not only the wrong perspective then,” Stan replied, “but there are a lot of people who have the same attitude and approach today.”
“What same attitude and approach?”
“Needing miracles to sustain their praise of God,” Stan replied.
“Needing miracles to sustain praise,” I repeated. “What’s that all about?”
“In Luke’s account,” Stan said, “he records that when Jesus was approaching Jerusalem, the whole multitude of disciples began to praise God for all of the miracles they had seen Jesus perform. Luke specifically mentions ‘the whole multitude,’ so that’s when I was wondering how many people were wrong at the same time.”
“Wrong in what way?” I asked.
“The people were praising God because of the miracles they had seen Jesus perform, not because Jesus was there to provide the way for them to have life eternally with the Father. And it can be the same today.”
“Rather than being content to praise God for all He has already done in providing the way to Him for both sides of eternity,” Stan said, “it’s too easy to get sidetracked and only praise God when I think He’s worthy of praise because He has done something special for me.”
“Something special, like a miracle?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Stan replied. “And if there’s no miracle, there’s no praise.”
“Kind of like asking God,” I added, “‘What have you done for me lately?’”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “And I don’t think God really likes it very much when I link my praise of Him to miracles.”
Bible verses to consider:
And as He was now approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen. Luke 19:37.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence, and if anything worth of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all there is to praise you. You have provided the free and gracious gift of life eternally with you when it’s time. You have provided the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus in an ever-deepening personal relationship on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I don’t praise you for all you have done for me. I do that because of my self-focus of always wanting more — and not necessarily more of you. Please forgive me and please help me in following every step of your lead into the deepest possible life of continual praise of you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you praise God for His free and gracious gift of life with Him eternally when your time here is done? If no, is that because you have not accepted His provision? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with praising God solely on the basis of who He is and what He has already done, without linking your praise to wanting and needing miracles? If you sense you are being called to deeper and more consistent praise of God, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?
The book, Waiting for the Train — Biblical Food for Growing before Going, by S. Tory Teller (Foreword by Josh McDowell). Available at amazon.com and from the publisher at s-toryteller.com