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The Idol of Popularity

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | June 27, 2024 | John 12:42-43


"Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue." John 12:42 (NIV)



In today’s passage, we witness a significant conflict within the hearts of many leaders of the time. They believed in Jesus, recognising His divine authority and message, yet they were unwilling to confess their faith openly. Their fear of the Pharisees and the threat of being ostracised from the synagogue overshadowed their commitment to Christ. They craved human praise more than God's approval.


This struggle between seeking human praise and God's approval is timeless. In our lives today, we often find ourselves in situations where standing firm in our faith might lead to criticism, exclusion, or loss of status. The temptation to conform to societal norms and seek validation from others can be strong, but Jesus calls us to prioritise His approval above all. True fulfilment and peace come from seeking God's approval, not man's. When we stand firm in our faith, despite opposition, we align ourselves with God's will and experience the profound joy of living authentically for Him. Jesus teaches us that the praise of people is fleeting, but God's approval is eternal and ultimately satisfying. The real issue with fear and faith is our confidence in what we believe. God calls us to love him without a rival. Anything that interferes with our honouring God becomes our idol, even if it is the fear of rejection or the desire for popularity. FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

Reflect on areas in your life where you may be compromising your faith to seek human approval. Make a conscious decision to prioritise God's approval, even if it means facing opposition or criticism. Encourage and support others who may be struggling with similar challenges, reminding them of the eternal value of God's approval. 


Father, give me the courage to stand up and confess my faith in Jesus with graciousness. I truly believe that you sent Jesus to die for my sins and give me power over sin and death. Regardless of other people's acceptance or rejection of me because of my faith, please help me live that faith before the people with whom I interact. In Jesus' name. Amen.





DAILY wordy study: OPENLY The Greek word for "openly" in John 12:42 is "φανερῶ" (phanerō). This word means "to make manifest" or "to reveal openly." It carries the connotation of bringing something into the light, making it visible or clear to all.

In John 12:42, "openly" highlights the secret belief of many Jewish leaders who feared Pharisaic repercussions and excommunication. This reluctance to publicly confess faith underscores the tension between faith and societal pressures, a recurring theme in John's Gospel that reflects spiritual blindness and hard-heartedness.

The concept of believing "openly" ties into the call for believers to live out their faith visibly, despite potential risks. It challenges the reader to consider the cost of discipleship and the courage required to stand firm in faith amidst opposition. Reflections: How does fear of societal repercussions influence your willingness to openly confess and live out your faith?

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𝔹𝔸ℙ𝕋𝕀𝕊𝕋 Daily Devotional | AUDIO VERSION | JUNE 27, 2024𝔹𝔸ℙ𝕋𝕀𝕊𝕋 Daily Devotional

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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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