Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Charge to Preachers, Teachers, and Parents

"For our appeal does not come from delusion or error or impure purpose or motive in fraud or deceit."
-1 Thessalonians 2:3 (AMP)

There is no "agenda" other than to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

"We speak not to please men but to please God, who test our hearts [expecting them to be approved]...we never resort to words of flattery or to cloak or conceal any greedy motives or pretexts for gain) as God as our witness).
Nor did we seek to extract praise and honor and glory from men...though we might have asserted our authority." -vs. 4-6

"BUT we behaved gently when we were among you, like a devoted mother nursing and cherishing her own children." -vs. 7

"As a father dealing with his children we exhorted each of you personally, stimulating and encouraging and charging you to live lives worthy of God, Who calls you into His own Kingdom and glorious blessedness." -vs. 11-12

In his letter to the Thessalonians Paul talks about his purposes and intentions in preaching and teaching the Word.  This charge is for us also to preach, teach, and for us parents - it is also a charge in how we should raise up our family.

We are charged not to:
-operate from our own agenda, but rather move with pure motives that come from following God's voice
-speak to please mean, but rather speak only to please God who will test our intentions
   no pretense, no flattery, no deception - a challenge in todays society highly valuing rhetoric where this is not only accepted but encouraged (However, with Paul's upbringing and culture of the day, skilled rhetoric was also considered highly valuable, so this charge is not without also overcoming the challenge to be counter-culture)
-seek praise, but rather to humble ourselves before God and the people He has called us to
-assert our own authority, but again to humble ourselves and assert only God's authority

-RATHER- We are charged to...
Behave gently...nursing and cherishing tender hearts
Encourage and stimulate in the faith
and charge others to lives a life worthy of our great calling

This is not an easy charge to continually allow God to test your motives and intentions and to humble yourself before others to minister to them, but it is one that Jesus set the perfect example for us and by the Spirit we can also live out.

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