From the time we are born until the time that we die, we want approval and attention. We often here little children say, “Watch me daddy,” “Look at me, mama.”
Teenagers want more than anything else to be popular. They are careful to dress in an acceptable manner. They try to talk in an acceptable manner. They try to act in whatever way that is acceptable amongst their peers.
As adults we worry about, what will our friends say, what will our neighbors think. What will our family feel about us. We care so much about what other folk think that we spend much of our lives trying to keep up with the Joneses.
We have a hard time saying “no” to anyone. We want so much to be liked that it’s almost impossible to overcome pure pressure.
When people approve you, you’re up. When someone is upset with you you’re down.
Instead of seeking God’s approval, we have become most concerned about what other folk think.
I want to ask you this morning, are you doing what you do to exalt Christ, or you doing it to promote yourself.
I’m not interested in finding the approval of men, but my spiritual life is determined by the approval of God. I want to hear him say well done. You’ve been faithful over a few things, come on up and I want to make you ruler over many.
I want to let you know that you can’t please folk. They will applaud you one minute and condemn you the next. They will praise you on one side and lie on you on another. They will shake hands with you one minute and stab you in the back at the same time.
Someone once said, “If you worry too much about what people think of you, you’d probably be disappointed to discover how seldom they did.”
Many folk today refuse to serve unless they can do something where they can be seen or heard. Unless they can do something that they can be admired. Unless they can do something that they can be admired. When they do something for someone else, they want to cause attention upon themselves. The bible says that “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” We ought not to brag on ourselves, but brag on God.
We find in our text this morning, the Apostle Paul, telling the Thessalonian church about three aspects of his ministry, his message, his motive, and his method.
First, he assures them that his message was the genuine gospel. In vs. 3 he writes; “For the appeal we make does not spring from error.”
There was no error or untruth mixed with his message.
In vs. 4 he clearly proved that “We are not trying to please man but God.” In vs. 9 he says, “we preached to you the gospel of God.”
Paul was not ashamed or afraid to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. In spite of the opposition he had faced not only in Thessalonica, but also in Philippi. Paul was not ashamed to proclaim the gospel of Christ even though the majority rejected him message as foolishness.
Paul knew that he could not please both God and man. He knew that some would accept and some would reject.
He did not tip-toe around the truth. He told them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
He did not attempt to tickle the ears of folk to preach only what they wanted to hear.
He did not concentrate on subjects that would win the approval of folk.
He did not preach to get folk to like him or for him to be popular.
He did not preach his own ideas, but he preached Christ, and him Crucified. He preached what thus saith the Lord.
You may not understand this, this morning, but God gives the pastor the vision and the direction the church needs to follow. It’s not about your vision; it’s all about God’s vision. You may not like it and it may not always be easy but God gave the vision to the pastor. When you decide you know more about what God wants than the man God sends you, you are not following the leader God gave you.
We find here that Paul preached the pure gospel. He was not popular, but he preached the gospel. Folk didn’t want to follow him, but he preached the gospel. Folk talked about him, but he preached the gospel. Folk scandalized his name, but he preached the gospel. The message of was not his own creation. Paul was only the messenger. Paul was an ambassador for Christ.
In his own words Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”
Sometimes we are afraid to stand up for right, because we are afraid to be found in the minority. Paul continually preached the gospel despite the opposition and conflict.
Paul is saying, “Don’t you know me by now? I’m not trying to trick you. I’m not trying to take advantage of you.
I want to let you know this morning, is that the only thing that I’m interested in is seeing each and every one of us accept Jesus Christ as your own personal savior and to let him be Lord and master of our lives.
I don’t care what folk say, my heart and prayer to God is that you might be saved. I don’t care what you think about me, my heart and prayer to God is that you might be saved. You can talk about me as much as you please, but my heart and prayer to God is that you might be saved.
That’s why I do what I do. I’m not here to get rich. I’m not here to get famous. This isn’t about me. I don’t want to be famous, I want Him to be famous.
I want to let you know you may not be seen by man, but God sees you. He knows your ups and downs. He knows your in’s and outs. The bible says that man looks at the outer appearance, but God looks at the heart.
In the end only God’s evaluation matters. In the end, only what you do for Christ will last. Only what you do for Christ, will be counted in the end.
Jesus says in John 5:30, “I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” Paul says in Galatians 1:10, Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?… If I were trying to please men, I would not be a servant of God.”
Along with watching out for being a people-pleaser, we also have to guard against being a self-pleaser. Sometimes we pat our ownselves on the back. Sometimes we look back and say look what I have done.
But, I want to let you know this morning, I’m not in this for me. I must work the work of him that has sent me why it is day, for when the night cometh, no man can work.
Woe unto me if I don’t tell you that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.
Woe unto me if I don’t tell you, that the lord knoweth the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Woe unto me if I don’t’ tell you that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
Woe unto me if I don’t tell you that god will never leave you nor forsake you.
Woe unto me if I don’t tell you that he will be with you in the Water…. In the Flood…. In the fire….. In the storm….. In your trial….. in your tribulation….. in the time of trouble…. He will be with you even unto the end of the world.
I want to let you know this morning that I’m going to preach the word, in season and out of season. I’m going to tell a dying world, that there is a reality in serving a true and living God.
I don’t care what the world may do, I’m gonna praise his name. If you don’t want to go, don’t hinder me.
I’m glad this morning that the Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear. The Lord is the strength of my life of, whom shall I be afraid.
I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna wait on the Lord. He promised me that those that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength. I’m going to wait on my eagle winds. I want two wings to veil me face. I want two wings to veil my feet. I want two wings to fly away so the world can’t do me no harm.
I am like Paul this morning, I got to tell the whole story…. The good and the not so good… Because I’m not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believeth.
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ...For it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth. To the tax collector as well as the thief. To the beggar man and to the one who feeds. To the prostitute. To the dope addict, to the alcoholic, to the down, to the outcast, to the poor and the prosperous.
The Gospel will start you to look at things a little differently.
What concerns Jesus will start to concern you.
You will start to love your neighbor aw well as your enemy.
You’ll start to turn the other cheek instead of rolling up your fists.
You’ll start to pray for those who despitefully mis-use you and speak all manner of evil against you.
The closer you get to Jesus the closer you’ll want to get to him.
Paul says in vs. 2 that they were bold in the power of God.
The hearst wheels rolled this morning, but they rolled on past my house… by His power
I woke up this morning with my mind on Jeus… by His power.
I have a reasonable portion of health and strength… by his power
I knew my left hand from my right…. By his power
Had food to eat and clothes to wear…. By his power
He brought me over freeway, highway, roadways, and back ways, by His power.
God has been good to me.