The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – 1 Thessalonians 2:2-6): God gave us the courage to tell you the good news about him, even though many people caused us trouble. 3 We didn’t have any hidden motives when we won you over, and we didn’t try to fool or trick anyone. 4 God was pleased to trust us with his message. We didn’t speak to please people, but to please God who knows our motives. 5 You also know that we didn’t try to flatter anyone. God himself knows that what we did wasn’t a cover-up for greed. 6 We were not trying to get you or anyone else to praise us.
Thoughts: I believe that when one does a job in spite of opposition, or in spite of whining and complaining by those they are trying to help, then we should appreciate that they are specially called for that job, and they are therefore working as a result of their obligation to a higher calling. This is what we see in this message by Paul, and if we are real honest, this is what we see in our pastors and teachers at our local churches. Although they may never openly complain, I believe that our pastors face a lot of correction, ideas, suggestions and self-proclaimed righteousness from their congregations to whom they preach and teach. Please don’t get me wrong friends, I believe pastors welcome your constructive input, because it helps to show them that you were listening and indeed care enough to correct them or encourage them with your words. But let’s try to be careful to be encouragers, and not on the list of ‘trouble makers’ or ‘opposers’ to the gospel. When our pastors have the freedom to share the unfiltered Word of God with us, then perhaps we can hear directly from God. If they have to speak in parables to make sure they don’t hurt the feelings of some, then many of us will totally miss the point! Paul shared that he had no other motive than to see Jesus accepted and God magnified and lifted up by the folk he was ministering to. I believe that we still have men of God who endeavors to do this through their preaching, teaching and actions in their life. I hope that even today we can commit to aiding these gentlemen – these men of God, to be transparent in what God wants to say to us through them, and not be hindered by us in any way. I was taught many years ago that each of us might mess up at times, but let’s learn to look at the heart and see what the other brother’s heart might be. Many times we will be convinced that although he may have said something differently to what we would have said, his intent was to help and/or to magnify God. So where do you best fit in this scenario today: Encourager; Opposer or just don’t listen close enough to care? I believe God wants us to all be encouragers, and we can do this through an encouraging word to our pastors and/or teachers, or we can pray for God’s ongoing hand upon them as they surrender to Him and try to share His Word with us. Let’s commit to improving our stance, so that our pastors might be improved in their walk and their talk!
Prayer: Lord, You have indeed blessed us with great messengers who sacrifice daily so that they might share Your heart and Your will with us. I sincerely thank You for my pastors and teachers and I pray that they might be even more energized by Your touch on their lives today. May they be drawn so close to Your bosom today that they might be reassured of Your love and Your direction for them as they lead us. May they receive a fresh anointing of Your divine Holy Spirit so that as they stand before us this weekend we may hear the unfiltered Word of God and not have to guess what You are trying to say to us through them. May our pastors have the freedom to be transparent in what You might need to say to us through them, is my humble and sincere prayer that I ask in Your precious name, with thanksgiving. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!