1For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. 2But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. 3For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.I'm feeling a bit distracted as I approach the word of God this morning. I've had a busy little boy up with me and I got up a bit late this morning so between walking Sassy, caring for the bunnies and having a busy boy up I haven't had a chance to do my devotions before now. So....we'll see how this goes. :) Hopefully having the tube on will help a busy boy leave his mommy alone for 20 minutes or so (don't think I'll have much longer than that).
Hmmm....I read these first words of Paul in this section and I just have to smile..... His coming was not in vain. I don't know about you....but when I go some place with for a reason...not just going to visit or stopping by for whatever...but for an actual reason, and I get there and my reason for being there is not utilized...I end up feeling frustrated and out of place, kinda like I went there in vain. So Paul's presence in Thessalonica was not in vain. The people there knew it and so did Paul. His ministry was of purpose.
So....despite the ill treatment he had received earlier, he was able to be bold in his presentation of the gospel. BUT did you see it..I almost missed it...his boldness was not in the fact that he had a purpose, but his boldness was IN OUR GOD! Not in himself, not in those he was preaching/ministering too, but in our God.
That boldness in God was why Paul and his companions were able to declare the gospel of God to them....even in the midst of conflict.
Hmmm....Makes me think of how often I fail to remember God. IF I remember that God is God and chose me to be his own, and that he sent his son to die for me...than my concerns with this world aren't so great. It gives me more surety in being able to stand for Christ despite my own fears about things. Remembering God gives me boldness in him.
So why does Paul appeal to the them? To please God. For that reason alone.
so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.Not to make themselves look good. Not because they want to deceive anyone. Not because they want to promote error. Not because of anything else. They have been approved of by God. They have been entrusted with the gospel. So therefore they speak to please God. God who is the one who sees the heart of a person ever so clearly.
If I remember God, and therefore have the boldness in God alive in me, then why I speak out the gospel of Christ must be done to please God.
Not to make myself look like a good evangelist example in Church....
Not to make points with my neighbours or my hubbie or......
Not to avoid feel shame because of all those other people out there who are such good witnesses and evangelists for God and somehow what I do isn't good enough ....
BUT merely and only to PLEASE GOD. He is the one who truly sees my heart.
Everything else is just window trappings, and therefore isn't important.
God sees my heart. So therefore in his boldness I can speak out the gospel that I know to those around me. I like that. :)