got carrots? • Carrot Juice – 9/18/22

What is fame? For centuries fame followed a person who did something significant, memorable, life-changing. It required being the best in one’s field, a leader, inventor, athlete, artist, or actor. It required commitment, discipline, creativity, skill, and hard work. However today, fame has taken on many forms due to various types of media. Infamy brings fame. People do shameful things and are lifted up as if they display some lofty standard of behavior. Some people get paid tens of thousands of dollars just to make an appearance at a party when they have done nothing to attain anything close to what fame is supposed to be. Fame is something most of us desire, not necessarily in the sense of being a world famous singer, athlete, actor or politician, but in the sense that we want to be known, liked, admired, accepted, secure and even successful. Many of the things we pursue are fleeting, evasive and empty, in and of themselves. When we actually reach our goal, we are often left empty and wondering what we really gained for all the “wanting and effort.” So how do we function in the world and represent Jesus Christ. How do we handle our desire for fame?

Scriptures – 1 Chronicles 14:17; Mark 1:7; John 3:30; Isaiah 14:13-14; 2 Corinthians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 2:4, 6

Verse – He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. (Jn 3:30) For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts. (1 Th 2:4) As for human praise, we have never sought it from you or anyone else. (1 Th 2:6) So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will life you up in honor. (1 Pe 5:6)

Thought – How you handle your innate desire for recognition and acceptance boils down to motive. To assess the carrots you may be chasing, you must be honest in answering the following questions: 1) Who are you representing? If you are representing yourself, you are seeking your own recognition and affirmation. If you are representing Jesus, your only concern is how well you serve him and point all glory back to him. John the Baptist developed a following. He was countercultural and crowds gathered to hear him speak. He could have soaked up the stardom and played it for all it was worth, but his motive was to serve the One (Jesus) who would come after him, whose sandals he was not worthy to unlace (John’s words). That’s humility. 2) Whose approval matters most? The Sunday school answer is “Jesus” of course! But be honest! If you are participating in things that you shouldn’t, trying to fit in at work, school, or the club because you want to be liked and accepted, then you are living for the crowd’s approval rather than for God’s. Remember God alone examines the motives of the heart. You will be left feeling empty by chasing carrots that promise much but deliver little. Maybe you are serving faithfully and feel that no one notices or even knows your name, but you can be sure God knows and He will reward you and fulfill the desires of your heart with His love, acceptance, and approval!

Questions – Do you like to serve under the radar, or are you disappointed when no one notices? How much does peer pressure affect your social and church activities? Do you often consider how you are representing Jesus? Does the way you work reflect integrity? Does your conversation reflect love and purity? Does your service to God’s kingdom reflect commitment? Do your hobbies and social activities align with God’s will?

Response – Answer the questions in “Thought” honestly. Ask God to show you how you can become less and allow God to become more.

Prayer – Dear Lord, my nature is not to be less or to have less, but to be more and to have more. Only by the power of your Holy Spirit can I be the messenger for you that I’m called to be. Create in me a humble heart so that I will reflect and represent you faithfully. I want to hear you say, “Well done” when I reach the end of my mission on this earth. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.

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