It matters where praise and “trusting words” comes from.
A lesson from Star Wars
[From Star Wars, Lando Calrissian struck a deal with Lord Vader to lure the Millennium Falcon to Cloud City.] When the Millennium Falcon eventually arrived at Cloud City, its crew was warmly welcomed by Lando Calrissian… Unbeknownst to him, however, the Falcon’s hyperdrive was secretly deactivated by a team of Imperial technicians in the event of their escape. … On their last day, Calrissian invited them to dinner, but it turned out to be a trap set by Darth Vader. Solo, upon seeing Vader, tried to shoot the Sith Lord, only for Vader to block the shots with one gauntleted hand…Stormtroopers surrounded the rebels, ensuring that they could not escape.Escape from Cloud City
Danger in Insincerity
As believers in love with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, we long for others to be led to Jesus by the Holy Spirit. Often in our zeal, we are thrilled when anyone acknowledges or praises Him. After all, Jesus said, “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” Matthew 12:30
When insincere public officials cloak themselves with Jesus and the Church, we need to be on our toes. The danger we face is in the agenda behind their messages.
Danger in Golden Words
Christians have an open and well-known agenda – to lead people to Jesus. But not all share this same goal. Often, when we hear of non-believers invoking the name of Jesus, they do so to lure believers away from God’s will. Just as Lando Calrissian, in good faith but deceived by Darth Vader, pulled the crew of the Millennium Falcon into a trap, we believers can be led from God’s path for us if we listen to golden words spoken from corrupt hearts.
15 Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. 16 They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites.Matthew 22:15
It matters where praise comes from. This high praise was from the Pharisees, but they held deceit in their hearts, and eventually crucified Jesus. So, when we hear leaders and politicians praising Jesus, let’s remember those Pharisees. So, “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;” Ephesians 6:16
Let’s offer to God true praise, without deceit, “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Hebrews 13:15
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