ESOCS Devotional 21 November 2023 – Say It As It Is
MEMORY VERSE: “For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanliness, nor in guile.” 1 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV
TEXT: 1 THESSALONIANS 2:1-12 (KJV)
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.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
In his first missionary journey to Thessalonica, Paul with his companion, Silas preached such that many believed. The Jews who did not believe became envious of them, caused uproar in the city and made many accusations against them (Acts 17:5). It was likely in response to this that Paul made the statement in our memory verse. But Paul did not seek money, fame, or popularity by sharing the gospel, but he went about saying the gospel as it is for their salvation. He demonstrated the sincerity of his motives by showing that he and Silas suffered for sharing the gospel in Philippi. A major lesson here is, in our ministry, salvation should be the ultimate. We should preach the gospel as it is so that we can be vindicated by our works when we are accused of ill motive. It is common knowledge that today many people became involved in ministry for a variety of reasons, not all of them are good or pure. When their true motives are exposed, it causes a setback in evangelism.
Another angle to it is that when trying to persuade people, we should not be tempted to alter position to make the message more palatable like some so-called ministers of God today do. Paul never did this to make his message acceptable or more acceptable, but he tailored it to suit each audience’s needs and situation. The lesson here is that although our presentation may be altered to suit the need and situation of our audience, the truth of the gospel must never be compromised.
Remember, we are following the footsteps of Jesus Christ who even in the midst of accusations by the rulers of the church never diluted or altered the gospel for cheap popularity. Let us do likewise.
FURTHER READING: Numbers 22-24; Acts 16: 11-20; 17:1-1
ESOCS Devotional 21 November 2023