a devotional response to I Thessalonians 2
I Thessalonians 2: For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: 2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. 3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: 4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
Paul was faithful to the task with which God had trusted him. Even though he suffered and was treated wrongfully, he continued to share the Gospel freely with everyone he met.
The Gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose on the third day.
We, too, have been put in trust with the Gospel. We can hoard this good news for ourselves, or we can share it freely as God has commanded. I often ask myself “am I trustworthy in sharing the gospel”?
There are some attitudes that will be present in our lives if we are trustworthy in regard to the gospel. They are found in verses 4 – 8 of this chapter.
- We will seek to please God (verse 4). Whom do I desire to please? Am I living my life for the praise of men or for the praise of God. When Peter and the other apostles were accosted for their faith in Acts 5:29, they quickly replied “we ought to obey God rather than men”. Their loyalties were set; their allegiance declared. Whom am I seeking to please?
- We will use words of truth (verse 5). It can be so tempting to couch our words in ways that disguise the gospel. God calls us to be truthful and forthright in our witness.
- We will live in humility (verse 6). Humility is that illusive trait that as soon as we think we have it, we don’t. The question here, though, is whom are we seeking to glorify. If we are basking in the glory ourselves, then there is something that needs to be adjusted in our mindset and our witness.
- We will be gentle (verse 7). God did not call us to harshness; He called us to love, as verse 8 will state. This love displays itself in gentleness to those we meet. How do we treat the people with whom we come in contact? You know, the clerk in WalMart or the gentleman in car in front of you. Do they see the gentleness of Christ in our attitudes? When we realize the worth of the trust we hold, its preciousness will supersede our rights, our need to be first, and our impatience.
- We will have a sacrificial mindset (verses 9 – 12). We will care more about the good of others than ourselves. This is a description of agape love – love that only comes from God. This love goes far beyond a sentimental feeling and sacrifices its own desires for the good of others. Are we willing to sacrifice so that others may know Christ?
- We will allow the Gospel to change us (verses 11 – 17). Interaction with the Good News of Christ calls for a life response. When we know Him, our goal becomes living to please Him.
As we continue through chapter two, we see the result of being faithful to the trust that God has given us….fruit. Paul rejoiced in the fact that the Thessalonians were following God. His heart’s desire was fulfilled in their salvation and walk with the Lord.
I Thessalonians 2: 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20 For ye are our glory and joy.
God has entrusted us, just like Paul, with His Good News. This trust is more precious than any bank account or land holding. It is up to us to be good stewards of this trust.
How has God worked in your life as you have sought to keep this trust?