Thursday, August 4, 2011

Questioning Our Leaders - 1 Thessalonians 2


My ministry here is not a failure.  You know that I have not been wasting my time and yours.  You may or may not know that sometimes I have been misunderstood, criticized, and treated unfairly.  Yet God has given me the strength to continue preaching God’s Good News boldly, in spite of those who may object.  
My teaching is not in error.  My motives are pure.  I’m not doing a bait-and-switch to catch people with a feel-good gospel.
I am called by God to be his messenger, his prophet.  God has entrusted me with his message, and you can be sure that I’m trying to please God not people.  God knows my heart.  God knows why I do this.
I’m not the kind of guy who flatters others or soft-pedals the truth or just says what you want to hear.  You certainly know that I haven’t taken it easy on you.  I’ve given you the truth even when the truth is difficult and unpopular.  Clearly, I’m not in this for the money or the glory.
As a pastor called and ordained by God and the Church, I could push my way.  I have that right, but I always try to side with gentleness.  I’ve cared for you like a mother nursing her own children.  And the truth is I haven’t just shared God’s Gospel, but I’ve been sharing my heart and soul with you.
Don’t you remember how I was bivocational - holding down two jobs so as not to be a burden to you?  Don’t you remember how I turned down pay raises to make room for more missional ministry?  You yourselves stand as witnesses - along with God - that I’ve been honest and faithful and above reproach here.
Like a father guiding the growth of his children ...



To continue reading this sermon, click here.  (If necessary, scroll to post on August 4, 2011.)


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