Summary: We should not interested in finding the approval of men, but our spiritual life is determined by the approval of God.
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.