Daily Devotional: Pleasing God, Not Men
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 2:4 (NIV)
“You know, we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed. God is our witness.”
Paul made it clear that he had nothing to gain from sharing his faith with others. He wasn’t seeking popularity, praise, or financial gain. His sole purpose was to please God and bring the truth of the gospel to those he encountered.
1. Motivation Matters: Paul’s example reminds us that our motives for sharing our faith should be pure. It’s easy to get caught up in seeking the approval of others or personal gain. However, our primary focus should always be on pleasing God and sharing His love with others selflessly.
2. Risk and Sacrifice: Paul understood the risks and sacrifices involved in sharing the gospel. He was willing to face persecution and imprisonment because he believed in the transformative power of the message. Similarly, we should be willing to step out of our comfort zones and take risks to share the good news, knowing that the eternal impact far outweighs any temporary discomfort.
3. Parental Responsibility: Just as the speaker emphasizes the importance of teaching their children not to play in the street, we have a responsibility to pass on our faith to the next generation. Sharing the truth of the gospel with our children is not imposing our beliefs but ensuring they understand the significance of a relationship with Jesus Christ.
1. Examine Your Motives: Take a moment to reflect on your motives for sharing your faith. Are you seeking personal gain or the approval of others? Repent of any selfish motives and commit to sharing the gospel solely to please God and bring others into a relationship with Him.
2. Step Out in Faith: Identify one person or opportunity to share the gospel with, even if it feels uncomfortable or risky. Trust in God’s guidance and provision as you step out in faith, knowing that He is with you every step of the way.
3. Teach the Next Generation: If you have children or influence over young lives, prioritize sharing the truth of the gospel with them. Help them understand the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus and guide them in their faith journey.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the example of the Apostle Paul and his unwavering commitment to sharing the gospel. Forgive us for any selfish motives or fear that hinder us from boldly proclaiming Your truth. Help us to please You above all else and to step out in faith, trusting in Your guidance and provision. Give us wisdom as we teach the next generation about Your love and the importance of a relationship with Jesus. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Remember, as you continue to seek God’s Word, may His truth resonate in your heart and guide you in all aspects of your life.
Podcast Transcript: Sharing the Gospel with Passion and Purpose
You know, I’m not sure if the Apostle Paul really struggled when he was sharing the gospel with others. It sounds like there were probably other people who were doing the same thing that were doing it for the wrong motives and motivation, because he does spend time in chapter 2 really articulating that he has nothing else, he’s got really nothing to gain from sharing his faith from other people.
Pleasing God, Not Men
He went out of his way to say that he’s not doing it to gain popularity, or he’s not doing it for praise. I mean, everything he’s doing, he’s doing to please God, not men. So like verse four, it says, you know, we’re not trying to please men, but God who tests our hearts. You know that we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed. God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or from anyone else. He’s talking about motivation for his life mission and his vision and what he’s doing. He’s got nothing to gain from it.
Not Doing it for Money
And he even goes on to say that I’m not even doing this for money at all. Like, when I came to visit you, is what he’s saying in verses 9, it says we worked night and day in order to not be a burden to anyone while we preach the gospel of God to you. We are here to just tell you the good news. That’s it. I mean, I can see where people might question his motives on things. I mean, we do that now. I mean, you have the TV evangelists and people that are out there sharing the gospel, and it’s like, you know, they can have a really good life doing that. And the Apostle Paul came knowing that he could be persecuted, and he did it for the sole reason of love towards these people.
The Risk and Joy of Sharing the Gospel
And he’s in this letter, he’s laying that out. He’s like, I’m risking persecution. I’m not doing it because it makes me look good. I’m not doing it for money because, I mean, even when I came here, I worked. I just want you to know the truth of the gospel. And there’s a lot at risk here. He’s got nothing to gain from it. And he’s got a lot to lose from it, from persecution to imprisonment and so on.
Lack of Passion in Sharing Faith
And I feel like my opinion on this is we’ve kind of figured that out as Christians. Like, what have I got to gain for sharing my faith? Not really anything. And so we just don’t do it as much. As God’s people, why don’t we share our faith as much or with as much passion and zeal as the Apostle Paul had when he was starting these churches? I mean, he gave it all up and was just on fire telling people about the gospel. And he was out there and letting them know and he had nothing to gain for it. The only thing that he had to gain was the joy in knowing that lives were changed.
The Joy of Sharing the Truth
In verse 19, for what is our hope, our joy, or our crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy. Like, this is all I get out of it. The joy of knowing that now you know the truth. That is why I do it. That is the joy. I know that I share it with my kids and I’ve got even more of a desire as they get older to share it even more with them, to let them know the importance of it. The most important thing for me is that you love Jesus. That’s the most important thing. That is going to make me the happiest.
Sharing Faith with Children
And I feel like kids get sucked into the wrong thing and they get stressed out nowadays about the wrong things. Like they put too much emphasis on things that really don’t matter in the long run. My number one goal that my children will know who Jesus is and will love him. And obviously it’s going to be their choice, but it is not their choice to hear the truth from me because I care about them and I love them and I want them to know the truth of the gospel and all that God’s done for them. I’ve had people tell me, why don’t you let them figure out what’s good for them? Obviously, this is coming from people who aren’t of the same faith as I am, but there’s a feeling that it might be unfair that I push my beliefs on my kids.
Importance of Sharing Faith with Children
And, of course, I’m going to tell my kids about Jesus. That makes no sense to me why I wouldn’t. I have two friends who didn’t know each other at the time. We know each other now. But when they were growing up, both of them got hit by trucks in the road while riding their bicycles. Now, me as a parent, no way am I letting my kids ride their bike in the street. And I’m sure their parents were the exact same way that you tell your kids, do not go in the road with your bicycle because you can get hit by a car. And if you get hit by a car, there is a possibility that you are not coming back from that. That can change your life in a big way. So the risks involved in riding your bike in the street far outweigh the benefits. And as a parent, it’s my job to let them know because I have experience and I have understanding of the consequences of that decision. So I am with all emphasis and with strict tone of my voice, You do not play in the street. And I don’t think there’s any parent out there that would disagree with that. And that’s because the severity of the situation is way too high to just let your kids play in the street. Why would I let my kid figure that out? I’m not just gonna let my kid figure out that you shouldn’t walk in the street because you can get hit by a car. I would never let them figure that out on their own. I would never let them do that. Because if they got hit by a truck, that’s on me because they didn’t know any better. I am sharing my faith with them because the consequences are way too big to not share my faith with them.
All that being said, those are my thoughts. For what it’s worth, hopefully it’s encouraging to you and you can take it and run with it. Other than that, you should be in the Word yourself, because you’re just getting bits and pieces of what’s going on with me. I just feel like when you’re in the Word, that God will speak directly into your heart.