Today's encouragement comes from John 12:43, which says this:
"For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God." (ESV)
Hell will be filled with man-pleasers. To love, obey, and cherish man *more* than God is damnable idolatry; and no fine-sounding excuses will hold up on the great judgment day. Man-pleasing is the fruit of unbelief. Note from v. 42 that it is possible to assent (intellectually) to the truth claims of the faith; and yet perish because of no heart-commitment to them.
In fact, to love God in and through Jesus Christ first and foremost creates the *only* context for truly and properly loving man at all. The first great com-mandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart," is the only way to get to the second greatest one: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
[Puritan quote of the day: "God has a peculiar quarrel with proud men, athe-ists, and hypocrites; and they shall feel the weight of His indignation.” —Rich-ard Steele, in, "The Character of an Upright Man"]