Testifying or Bragging?

John 12:17-19 WEB

The multitude therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, was testifying about it. [18] For this cause also the multitude went and met him, because they heard that he had done this sign. [19] The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “See how you accomplish nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him.”


Jesus did a wonderful miracle, he raised Lazarus from the dead. Not only did he raise him, but Jesus did it after Lazarus was buried and dead for four days. The people that were there to grieve for Lazarus saw what Jesus did. And now, they were repeating the story and causing many to look for Jesus. The Lord, through his ministry commonly told people to keep their miracles a secret (Mat 9:29-30). But this sign was too big to keep silent. So, they testified, and many came to Christ.

How do we know when we are testifying and when we are bragging? That is a huge issue in modern society. We live in a time when self-promotion is rampant and often leads to success. Yet the word teaches us not to boast about our accomplishments (1 Sam 2:3). It can even be a boast to tell what God is doing in our lives. When we are right with God, we do not have to prove we are right with God. That comes from ego and self-promotion. We do not have to brag about our blessings. We should brag on God alone. He is our boast.

We can often tell when God has intervened in someone’s life. God will begin to fix what is broken and line up a believer with their destiny. But having healing or destiny is not something to brag about. Having a destiny in Christ should lead to our silence. We may at appropriate times share our calling with others. After all, we still need people even when we are solidly in Christ. But in general, it is not something we should be bragging about. Rather, we should treasure the miracles and share them when led by the Holy Spirit, so they lead others to Christ.


Lord, give me the wisdom to see when I am testifying and leading others to you, and when I am bragging and harming others. Take pride and ego away, Lord, and leave a tender heart prepared to receive from you.  Help me receive the wisdom to keep silent. Lead me by your Holy Spirit and let my only boast be you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.   

Thieves and Robbers

John 10:1 WEB

“Most certainly, I tell you, one who doesn’t enter by the door into the sheep fold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.


Thieves break-in. They come through windows and other opportunities for access. The homeowner goes in through the door. When we come to Jesus on his terms, we are entering the sheepfold through the door. However, there are many who do not have the sheep’s best interest in mind. They may want to build a big church, or they may want to be wealthy. These and other issues indicate they have not come in by the gate. They may be called but instead of waiting to be chosen, they strive for their ministry position. They are thieves.

Modern-day evangelism gives rise to those whom Jesus calls thieves. In our world of self-promotion, many people can use their charisma and talents to advance in the kingdom. However, a true shepherd of the sheep will wait for the Lord to advance. Unfortunately, many people do not recognize they are not ready. That means there are wolves on a variety of platforms. The irony is they may feel confident the Lord sent them. Therefore, we need to learn to discern who is of the Lord, and who is a thief. The thief is in danger of the judgment.

How can we recognize thieves? We learn and trust the Bible. The Bible says not to rage. How many preachers use theatrics to entertain their audience? They get louder and louder until they whip the audience up into a frenzy. That is not real. A real preacher has legitimate proof of their content, not just emotional appeals. The Bible calls this kind of manipulation witchcraft. In fact, the Bible gives many instructions we can use to righteously judge those who lead us.  


Lord, please instill in me a hunger for the Bible. Help me learn its truth’s so I can detect frauds. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Jesus Believed

John 5:41-44 WEB

I don’t receive glory from men. [42] But I know you, that you don’t have God’s love in yourselves. [43] I have come in my Father’s name, and you don’t receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. [44] How can you believe, who receive glory from one another, and you don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God?


Seeking glory is a real problem. It’s one of those sticky issues of Christianity. Unfortunately, we live in a society that teaches us to give and receive glory from one another. Yet this passage is clear, Jesus did not receive glory. He goes on to say those who receive glory from one another do not believe in God.

That is scary. It reminds me of the passage of scripture that says, “Many will tell me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?’ [23] Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’” (Matthew 7:22-23 WEB) It is easy to tell if you are seeking glory or if you are seeking God. All you need to do is find something God needs done and do it. Then, keep it to yourself.

I used to wonder about my need to tell my every accomplishment. I knew it was wrong, but I could not quite get to why it was wrong. This passage helped me understand. It makes it plain. When I need people to see my accomplishments, I am seeking glory. There are appropriate times to share our accomplishments. What I am talking about here is a daily need for praise and adoration that leads you into a habit of self-promotion.

Self-promotion is a way to receive glory. On the other hand, Jesus was great at keeping things to himself. He even tried to restrain people from telling the miracles that were happening, “Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” [30] Their eyes were opened. Jesus strictly commanded them, saying, “See that no one knows about this.” [31] But they went out and spread abroad his fame in all that land.” (Matthew 9:29-31 WEB) Strangely, the more Jesus tried to keep things to himself, the more his fame grew. With no self-promotion, God was able to position Jesus where he was meant to go.  

Jesus believed the things he told others. He believed in God so much that he was obedient to death on a cross. Jesus understood before he died that God was going to ask him for his life. “As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Don’t tell anyone what you saw, until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.” (Matthew 17:9 WEB) Jesus was willing to be humiliated by the shame of the cross because he genuinely believed in God.


Lord Jesus, please help me recognize when I am seeking glory for myself. Please give me the grace to learn to give myself away for your glory. Help me come higher in my relationship with you Jesus. Help me trust you to get me where I am meant to be so I can give up endless striving. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.