Jeremiah 13:8-14:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8; Psalms 79:1-8; Proverbs 19:17
NT: “For you yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our visit with you was not without result. On the contrary, after we had previously suffered and were treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition. For our exhortation didn’t come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive. Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please people, but rather God, who examines our hearts. For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy motives — God is our witness — and we didn’t seek glory from people, either from you or from others. Although we could have been a burden as Christ’s apostles, instead we were gentle among you, as a nurse nurtures her own children. We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.” (1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 CSB)
Undoubtedly, after Paul and his team were forced out of Thessalonica, the unbelieving Jews tried to disparage and discredit his name. They probably said things like, “Paul simply came here to make a name for himself… He didn’t speak the truth… He was trying to deceive you into giving him money, etc., etc.” In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, Paul took the time to set the record straight. For one thing, the words that he spoke were not empty hot air. The truth of his words were demonstrated to them in great power, and they bore impactful fruit in the lives of all who heard them and responded in faith. Paul didn’t come to seek his own glory… he didn’t come to manipulate people through flattering speech… he didn’t come to tickle the people’s ears with words that they wanted to hear. The reason Paul came to Thessalonica was because he had been entrusted by God with the powerful, salvational and transformational message of the gospel. He came to make Christ’s name great and to please the Lord God. Nothing he said was in error – everything he spoke was the truth. Nothing he said was spoken from an impure motive – everything he said was spoken out of a sincere love and care for the people. Nothing he said was deceptive – everything he said was consistently inline with the word of God, even when he was faced with great opposition. His charge from God was to communicate and demonstrate the unadulterated gospel, and that is exactly what he did.
Dr. David Shibley is the founder and global representative for Global Advance. Through the ministry of Global Advance, Dr. Shibley has been involved with bringing on-sight training, resources and encouragement to over 700,000 Christian leaders in over 98 nations – all the while proclaiming the gospel and challenging the leaders to do the same. Recently, Dr. Shibley wrote a book entitled “Entrusted: Anchoring Your Life in the Gospel.” In his book, Dr. Shibley laments the fact that many have lost touch with the unadulterated gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and calls the church to return to the pure and powerful message that Christ has entrusted us to communicate and demonstrate throughout the world. Many, for one reason or another, have lost the sense of calling, commitment and consecration that Paul had when he ministered in Thessalonica. Many are more concerned with preserving their position and maintaining their standard of living instead of faithfully proclaiming the gospel of Christ. Instead of speaking the truth in love, they say what the world wants to hear. Instead of seeking to make Christ’s name great in the earth, they compromise Christ’s message in a way that elevates them. Instead of calling people to repent and believe, they flatter people and deceive. God has entrusted us with His gospel, the gospel that is the power of God for salvation to anyone who believes – provided we share it accurately and completely. Will we rise to the call and find ourselves approved of God, or will we seek instead to obtain the approval of men?
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for Your gospel and how it has liberated and transformed me. I also thank you for the great honor that you have given me by entrusting me with Your message. Lord, I want to be found to be a faithful, committed, and consecrated communicator and demonstrator of Your gospel – that Your name may be great, and that You may be glorified through my live. Grace me as I walk in obedience to your call by faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.