Paul continues his letter to the church at Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 2. He reminds the people there that his little ministry team “had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel”. They were not silent or ashamed – they just preached God’s truth. They were God’s messengers and beyond that were “approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel”. God has entrusted us in the same with – with the same story and truth – to share with those around us. We are God’s messengers. So have you shared the message? Have you proclaimed the gospel? Do people know that you have the truth? It is not just for pastors to share – it is our job. Paul says it this way: “so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts”. Do you consider the fact that God is paying attention to the words we speak and the story we tell. We are not here to please man – God has us here to do a job – to live life for Him and share His truth with everyone we come into contact with. We are here to live for an audience of One. Far too often we are concerned about what people will think and say and we shy away from speaking truth. Paul and his team set the example – “nor did we seek glory from people” – they weren’t about getting kudos and pats on the back because they were making people comfortable. They were focused on speaking truth.
He goes on to give us the formula that works. “We were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but our own selves”. Here it is – we are to speak truth and also show how that truth has impacted us personally – our personal testimony of what the truth has done in us. That is the secret to sharing successfully with others. God’s Word and our life which has been touched. When we put the two together – there is great power in the message. Paul tells us clearly that his team “worked day and night that we might not be a burden to any…..you are witnesses…..how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct”. The ministry team didn’t impose on people – they carried their own weight and in fact supported themselves. But they did live openly and set forth a witness that glorified God. They made sure to “walk in a manner worthy of God” – as God’s representatives of His truth. That is the way we help others find Jesus. We live Him personally in our own life and share that openly with those in our patch. Are you living that way? Don’t forget – we have a real enemy who doesn’t want that to happen – and Paul mentions “but Satan hindered us”. We have to stay the course and walk with our Lord to live victoriously. But we can and when we do God is pleased and people around us see Him!