Tuesday, May 5, 2009

To Please God

1 Thes. 2:1-4 (ESV)
For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. [2] But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. [3] For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, [4] but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

“For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive.” It is funny how often people make the claim that the disciples made this story up about Jesus coming back from the dead in order make a living. I should think Peter had a better living being a fisherman. I think Peter thought that, saw that, even after the resurrection. Peter doesn’t rush out to preach to the crowds. No, he goes back to Galilee, takes his boat out of dry dock and returns to the family trade that had served him so well. No doubt this was a relief to his wife also. There wasn’t much in it for the disciples. After the resurrection they lived harsh lives, and died wicked deaths. They never gained riches like L. Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith, or Brigham Young. The only thing that drove Paul and the other apostles was the conviction of God who tests hearts. They wanted to please him. Not because their salvation depended on it, but out of joyful gratitude to the God who became man and died that they might have life. That and that alone could keep them preaching the Gospel after numerous beatings and being left for dead.

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