J.C. Ryle, Daily Readigs
How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? (John 5:44)
A deep principle is contained in this saying of our Lord's and one that deserves special attention. True faith does not depend merely on the state of man's head and understanding, but on the state of his heart. His mind may be convinced. His conscience may be pricked. But so long as there is anything the man is secretly loving more than God, there will be no true faith. The man himself may be puzzled and wonder why he does not believe. He does not see that he is like a child sitting on the lid of his box and wishing to open it, but not considering that his own weight keeps is shut. Let a man make sure that he honestly and really desires first the praise of God. It is the want of an honeest heart which makes many stick fast in their religion all their days and die at length without peace. Those who complain that they hear and approve and assent, but make no progress and cannot get any hold on Christ, should ask themselves this simple question: 'Am I honest? Am I sinere? Do I really desire first the praise of God?'