Briefing: Do you know any high maintenance people? I used to think that high maintenance people were all female. Wrong. I know a lot of male law enforcement officers who are high maintenance.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 12:37-49.
On the Street: High maintenance is usually a term associated with equipment that performs at a high level. Race cars are high maintenance. Have you ever watched a NASCAR race, when those cars pull into the pit stop and are constantly getting adjusted and worked on? Aircraft are high maintenance. Commercial aircraft go through all kinds of checks and upkeep. Working at the eighth busiest airport in the world, I have seen planes get grounded for seemingly insignificant issues like lights being burned out.
People can also be high maintenance. You know the kind; like race cars and airplanes, people that have to constantly hear that they did a good job or need constant attention or praise. This is what fuels their tank. They don’t need the praise but they love the praise. I have had a season, or two, of being high maintenance.
Jesus ran across these kinds of people. Verse 42-43 says, “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.”
They loved their flesh and the feeling they got from receiving praise. This is idolatry. It is worshiping something more than God. In this case, they are worshiping themselves. In the previous chapter, we read about having to die to live. This is a good example. We have to die to the love of our self and love God more than ourselves.
In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount He tells us, “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Jesus makes a distinction between self-love and the love you show others.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked! He sees what is in a man’s heart. If the desires of your heart are to be powerful and a person of respect and high position, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Trust God; if He wants you to be in a grand earthly position, He will make it happen. Focus on Him, not yourself. Make your will line up with His will. The way to do this is to get in His Word daily and make it your goal to get to know Jesus on an intimate level.
Investigational Resources: The Sermon on the Mount is in Matthew, chapters 5-7.
Officer Safety Principle: Care more about what God thinks of you than what other people think.
from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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