Influence Church
Presence over Popularity
February 2, 2022

Presence over Popularity

February 2, 2022

WHAT ARE THE HIDDEN COSTS OF POPULARITY?

When he heard this, Jesus replied, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor-sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ’I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices.’ For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.” (Matthew 9:12-13)

  • POPULARITY OFTEN COMES AT THE EXPENSE OF .
  • What sorrows await you who are praised by the crowds, for their ancestors also praised false prophets. (Luke 6:26)
  • POPULARITY OFTEN COMES AT THE EXPENSE OF
    • There were many false prophets in Old Testament times. They were praised by kings and crowds because their predictions-prosperity and victory in war-were exactly what the people wanted to hear. But popularity is no guarantee of truth, and human flattery does not bring God’s approval. Sadness lies ahead for those who chase after the crowd’s praise rather than God’s truth.
    • Because of the miraculous signs, he did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many people were convinced that he was indeed the Messiah. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew what people were really like. No one needed to tell him about human nature. (John 2:23-25)
    • POPULARITY OFTEN COMES AT THE EXPENSE OF
    • The Son of God knows all about human nature. Jesus was well aware of the truth of Jeremiah 17:9, which states, “The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jesus was discerning, and he knew that the faith of some followers was superficial. Some of the same people claiming to believe in Jesus at this time would later yell “Crucify him!” It’s easy to believe when it is exciting and everyone else believes the same way. But keep your faith firm even when it isn’t popular to follow Christ.
    • We belong to God; that is why those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception. (1 John 4:6)
    • POPULARITY OFTEN COMES AT THE EXPENSE OF
    • False teachers are popular with the world because, like the false prophets of the Old Testament, they tell people what they want to hear. John warns that Christians who faithfully teach God’s Word will not win any popularity contests. People don’t want to hear their sins denounced; they don’t want to listen to demands that they change their behavior. A false teacher will be well received by non-Christians.

 

  • PRESENCE – KINGDOM MINDSET

The one thing I ask of the LORD-the thing I seek most-is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. (Psalm 27:4)

  • GOD’S PRESENCE IS EXPERIENCED BY THOSE WHO TRULY 
  • David may also have used the word temple to mean “the presence of the Lord.” His greatest desire was to live in God’s presence each day of his life. Sadly, this is not the greatest desire of many who claim to be believers. But those who desire to live in God’s presence each day will be able to enjoy that relationship forever.
  • The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous face many troubles, but the LORD rescues them from each and every one. (Psalm 34:18-19)
  • GOD’S PRESENCE IS OFTEN EXPERIENCED IN DIFFICULT
  • We often wish we could escape troubles-the pain of grief, loss, sorrow, and failure; or even the small daily frustrations that constantly wear us down. God promises to be “close to the brokenhearted,” to be our source of power, courage, and wisdom, and to help us through our problems. Sometimes he chooses to deliver us from those problems. When trouble strikes, don’t get frustrated with God. Instead, admit that you need God’s help and thank him for being by your side.
  • I know the LORD will surely help those they persecute; he will maintain the rights of the poor. Surely the godly are praising your name, for they will live in your presence. (Psalm 140:12-13)
  • GOD’S PRESENCE IS KNOWN IN TIMES OF
  • To whom can the poor turn when they are persecuted? They lack the money to get professional help; they may be unable to defend themselves. But there is always someone on their side-the Lord will stand by them and ultimately bring about justice. This should be a comfort for us all. No matter what our situation may be, the Lord is with us. But this truth should also call us to respond. As God’s people, we are required to defend the rights of the powerless.

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