Posted on August 30, 2012
“1Th 2:3 For our appeal to you does not spring from deceit, impure motives, or trickery.
1Th 2:4 Rather, because we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, we speak as we do, not trying to please people but God, who tests our motives.” ISV
These verses are self explanatory. But how easily we miss them!
God will not entrust anyone to preach His Good News.
One must qualify to be given such a job description.
There are many preachers and teachers today, always has been that way. Were they sent by God though? God knows the answer to that.
Notice Paul says that a Gospel appeal or something related to the Gospel, can spring from the wrong motives.
Deceit, impure motives or trickery. All these are in the heart and are the counsellors of the flesh man. In the secret place of the heart, when lying upon our bed, the flesh holds a council. The meeting is to determine how the “I” can get what it wants.
Loud voices are heard. These belong to Deceit, Impure Motives and Trickery.
Is it fame and reputution you seek?..They will help you get it.
Is it wealth and power, the acquiring of things and land you seek? They will get it for you?
With every thing we do, God is weighing our actions and our thoughts. He will oppose our flesh agenda. He knows that our flesh will not stop trying to get it’s will, so He will allow it to get it’s goal.
Having gotten the goal the Lord pulls away from us until we are left like a pole on the hill, all alone. He leaves us like a barren wasteland, dry and thristy.
He gives us over to our lusts which we have spent so much time trying to get by unlawful means.
Lying to get what we want. Trickery…not telling the full story to those who should be told. Deceitful means. Perhaps we misrepresent our selves, presenting a more palitable image to the world so as to gain advantage.
Many ways there are to gain what the flesh wants.
Like the Prostitute who dresses up in red and covers her sores with makeup. The filth of our disease is unseen by lusting men who only look at the surface. They are easy pickings for the flesh. They gladly part with their money for a moments pleasure….only to receive in themselves some sentence of death in exchange!
In the church today, in fact in the world today (for there is no difference) there are many who are masquarading and using trickery to get what they want out of people.
The flesh refuses to trust God, indeed it cannot trust God, it must go it’s own way.
Of course that way is the way of death.
ALLOW GOD TO APPROVE YOU Part 2
Posted on August 31, 2012 at 8:55 PM
1Th 2:4 But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.
APPROVED = δοκιμάζω dokimazō
1) to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals
2) to recognise as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy
God’s approval process removes the dross from our life. As Gold is refined in the fire, so God is a consuming fire Who refines the sons of Levi.
In order to be approved of God to be entrusted with so precious a commodity as His Gospel, we must go through the fire.
God uses different wilderness experiences with each one of his children to purify them and set them free of the things of the flesh.
Deu 8:2 And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
Deu 8:3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.
Do you long to preach the Gospel of Jesus? God has put that longing in you. It is His longing. You and He are one person. Therefore God will lead you into the wilderness to humble you, to test you. The testing is akin to the assaying process Gold is put through. The impurities are identified so as to be removed.
With each impurity identified an appropriate method of removal is used. Some impurities are deeply imbedded in the gold and need more heat to be brought out to the surface.
During this unpleasant process we come to know what is in our hearts…God already knew!
As these things come to the surface we tend to take on their character and act out their qualities.
You will have times when you struggle with some “sinful” behaviour. It seems that you have regressed and gone back to your old life. That is because God has allowed what was always in you to come to the surface so you can see it and deal with it in Him.
1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God wants to approve us, He does not want to disqualify us.
God wants to bring us to the place where we live only by His voice, His word to us.
When we are brought through the wilderness we can be entrusted with the Gospel…HIS GOSPEL. Many of us, all of us, preach our own message until we have the dross removed by the tesings of God.
Therefore we rejoice when we encounter various trials knowing that they are a part of His refining process in our lives.
Submit to it and thank Him.
Allow God to Approve you Part 3
Posted on September 1, 2012 at 8:40 PM
1Th 2:3 For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit.
In this process of being approved by God to preach the Gospel, Paul lists 3 things that the Holy Spirit must deal with and purge from our lives by his fire.
Error; Uncleanness; Deceit.
There were many exhorters just as there are today. The ministry of preaching is largely to do with exhortation and encouragement. We all need to be exhorters towards each other…and we all need to be exhorted as well.
Error – plane in Greek. Mat27:64, Rom1:27, Jam5:20, 2Pe2:18, 2Pe3:17, 1Jo4:6, Jud1:11
Even though anyone can be an exhorter, an encourager, not all do it from pure motives. This is the distinction Paul was making here to the Thessalonians.
Some were exhorting or preaching from error and leading many astray from the true path of life. Paul had been tested by God to ensure that he only spoke the words of God to the people. Many of us preach what people want to hear, what their flesh wants to hear and not the Word of the Lord.
Exhortation from deceit or error is a leading astray off the path. When people preach that God wants to bless you and give you all that you ask for, while at the same time not exhorting them to live a holy life, they are in error.
Paul remind them that his gospel came to them out of much conflict and pressure. He was not a high flying apostle who travelled first class in the Jumbo Jet. God had dealt with Paul and he was a broken man, humble and not living for the praises of men.
There is also a danger of exhorting out of uncleanness. “akatharsia”
Mat23:27, Rom1:24, Rom6:19, 2Co12:21, Eph4:19 , Eph5:3, Col3:5, 1Th2:3, 1Th4:7
1b) in a moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, profligate living
1b1) of impure motives
Pauls own life was free of these qualities. That is what he is saying to the Thessalonians and to us. If a preacher comes and has not been approved by God to be entrusted with His Gospel, then it is certain that these 3 qualities are still a part of his flesh life, and he will preach a corrupted message.
If Paul were living in a loose way, sleeping around with the women in his team for instance…or flirting with other men’s wives secretly looking at women etc etc…his message would be powerless. God would not anoint it.
Remember the Lord Himself taught with authority and NOT AS THE SCRIBES.
Mat 7:28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,
Mat 7:29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Jesus was approved of God to be entrusted with the Gospel. He had been sifted and assayed and had overcome. He had been led into the wilderness and overcome the tempter. He was approved.
All of us who aspire to be preachers must go through the same process.
The last thing in Paul’s list is deceit. Greek /dolos it means : – to decoy; compare a trick (bait), that is, (figuratively) wile: – craft, deceit, guile, subtilty.
Joh_1:47, 2Co_12:16, 1Th_2:3, 1Pe_2:1, 1Pe_2:22, 1Pe_3:10, Rev_14:5 Mar_7:22, Rom_1:29 Mat_26:4, Act_13:10 Mat_26:4, Act_13:10
This last thing is so very wicked and it is in all our flesh. Do not think that just because you have been washed in the Blood of Jesus and are born again that you do not have these things in your life. lol
Of course it takes the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us.
Paul was not preaching to them with guile…he was not trying to gain an advantage over them so as to secure their help or their money. That is how scammers operate today. They will send you an email with a sad story asking for your help, only to steal every cent you have if you do.
Paul was not out to fleece the flock of God as so many other peddlars…he had been dealt with in the fire of God and had that bent burnt out of his life. He had been subdued and now lived a spirit led life bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
Allow God to approve you. Ask Him to mature you and to deal with these things in your life so that He can entrust his anointed Good News to you….Oh..and pray for me and others who preach, that God would burn all that stuff out of our lives as well!!
God Bless you as you seek His face,