Who are you Lord? I AM the God of integrity 1 Thess 2:2-16

As fire separates the dross from the silver, and the wind blows the chaff from the wheat.

Do others see Jesus in me?

Trials separate the false from the true believers.  When Christ genuinely fills an individual rather than just a religious veneer; come hell or high water, a true believer carries forth the message of Christ to the lost with integrity and courage. 

Paul’s Ministry in Thessalonica

2  You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. 2 We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, 7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 9 Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. 13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.

Who are you Lord?

I AM the God of integrity.  You can trust me.  I cannot lie or do wrong.  I AM Holy, Righteous and Blameless in my dealings with mankind.  I AM a Mother and a Father to you.  I am gentle with you but encourage you and urge you to walk before others as I would with integrity and courage.  When I walked on Earth, I lived blamelessly and with conviction before you.  And remember just like your mother, I have eyes in the back of my head – I see everything.  I AM the God who weighs your thoughts and the intentions of your heart by my word.  I am not pretentious, so neither should you be as you work with people, because like me, they can see right through you, therefore, live transparently before others with nothing to hide.  People can tell when you are or are not genuine.  As my representatives here on earth, I want you to live lives that I can approve of with motives to be the same as that of mine – showing My love to them.

My children of Israel turned my glory into a shameful display of religion and they were punished for it.  When I have tested that your motives are pure, I will approve you to be witnesses for my glory.  It may cost even your life, but when you are ready to give up your life for others, then they will know you are worthy to be listened to, they will realize the value of your message.  Be warned though, because when you live upright, that makes you a bigger target.  People can be hurtful, remember how they treated me? So they will treat you too.  Be genuine, but be wise as well. 

In 1 Cor 15:34 Paul shamed them for all the people who were going to a Christless eternity because they were living this life for their own pleasures.

Paul’s book to Timothy says that if you want to be a vessel for honor, you have to be clean and separated unto God’s use.  There is a cost to be used by God to reach the world.  To be a good soldier you have to dedicate your heart, mind and soul to the cause.  To be an athlete you have to put aside all the ice cream and sugars so that your body is capable of the strain you will endure in the race.  It costs us to be used by God.   But what do you want more?  Will you settle for this fleeting life?  Or do you want an eternal glory and reward that will never end.  The choice is yours.  Will you step up to the plate?  God has someone waiting just for you to reach out and help them.

More to come,

Steve

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
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