1 Thessalonians 2:5 No Mask Or Flattery

 

Lady with thumbs up

You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed–God is our witness. 1 Thessalonians 2:5

The world likes to use flattery or masks when they are speaking to someone else. It is commonly seen in the workplace that a worker talks very highly of his boss in the boss’s presence, but cuts him down in private talks. In the presence of the boss it appears as though he loves his boss, but in reality does not like him at all.

Children are known for using flattery with their parents to get something that they want. A child will come up to this father or mother telling them how much he loves them (when normally he never says that he loves them) and offers to do some extra chore. A wise parent will realize that the child is desiring something of them. The child put on a mask of feigned love and used flattery to attempt to get something.

Believers in the church will often use the same type of speaking with God and others. Churches speak only good sounding messages, rather than the whole truth of God. They speak only what the people want to hear. People claim to love God, yet refuse to give up sin or do what He asks of them. They worship God, just to get something from Him, not out of true love.

Flattery is used for selfish reasons to get what one wants from someone else. Paul stated that they did not use any of that when speaking to the people. Believers are supposed to speak true from the heart, not from the surface. They are not to act like they care or don’t need anything, when they don’t care and want something from the other person.

The words of a person are powerful, so they must come from the heart. They should not be used for selfish gain, but to build others up and draw them closer to God.

Take a look at how you speak to others. What is the purpose of your words when talking to someone or to God? Are they only for selfish gain or to build God’s kingdom?

Strive to speak like Jesus did. He never used any flattery or put on a mask feigning love when He spoke to the people. His words were true from the heart. Are yours?

I pray today that God will reveal your heart’s motives; that God will give you the words to speak; that your words will be like the words of God; and that God will reveal any greed in your heart to remove it.

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Colossians 4:5 Using Opportunities Correctly

 

Immigrants

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5

All around the world in every nation and every city or community, there will be people who are outsiders. These are people who have moved into the area from some other location. This location can be from the same country, maybe only a few miles down the road, or from across the ocean. Regardless of where they come from, they are outsiders.

When these outsiders come from another nation, they are called immigrants. There is currently lots of discussion on how to treat those immigrants and what should or should not be done with them. Some want to kick them out, some what to put them in jail, and others want to let them stay.

The same problems arise with people who are outsiders coming around the church. These are people who are not believers. How does one in the church act towards them?

Often many believers treat them with distrust and hatred, not giving them an opportunity to know Jesus.

Paul says that the believer must be wise in how one acts towards them and to make the most of every opportunity.

Wisdom can be seen in being careful in choosing the words and actions spoken. Every believer is supposed to be a witness of who Jesus is and a representative of His great love and mercy towards others. This takes great wisdom from God to know.

The believer is to take every opportunity he can to show God’s love to the outsider–the non-believer, the world. This can only be done with love, mercy and grace in both words and actions.

Every day and at every moment there are many opportunities to be a witness to an outsider. More than half the world is an outsider to God.

Instead of being afraid of an outsider, find ways to reach out in love to the outsider. Take a look at what you are saying and doing around the outsider. Are your actions and words drawing them or pointing them to Jesus? Or are your actions and words pushing them away from Jesus?

Allow God to open your eyes to the many opportunities that come your way each day. Grab every opportunity you can to be His witness. Draw in as many outsiders into His kingdom as you can. That is the goal of Jesus.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that God will guide you in what to say and do around others; that you will show God’s love and mercy to all people; and that you will be filled with God’s wisdom. 

Acts 26:22 No Extra Words

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But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen–Acts 26:22

Paul had been put in captivity for preaching the gospel message. While there he appealed to Caesar, rather than be judged in a lower court. He stood before King Agrippa and stated that he said nothing beyond what has already been said by the prophets and Moses, so was therefore innocent.

When a person is trying to convince someone of something, he will often present every piece of information he can. In the process, many people will add information that is not true to build the case. They use extra words in order to convince others that they are correct.

If the person that is trying to be convinced is not paying attention, he will be convinced. However, many will pay attention and realize the false statements being made or notice when things do not line up correctly in the statements.

There are believers who strive very hard to convince people to believe in Jesus or to follow a principle of the bible. In the process, there are times they use arguments that are not from the Bible and are not truth. Some believe in Christian slogans, that cannot be found in the Bible.

It has been seen many times on television, speakers who claim that a person will be blessed if they purchase a certain item from the ministry. Or if they give a certain amount of money to the ministry, there will be a sudden amount of money given back to them.

These are extra words that God never directly stated in the Bible. In the process of proclaiming God’s word, a person must be careful to keep his words true to God’s word. The gospel message is very simple and is what the entire Old Testament points to.

As you speak to people about God or Jesus, make sure that the words you use are what God’s word says. Do not try to add anything extra. When you speak extra words, you take a chance of going off track from God’s word. Allow God’s word to be active and alive in the lives and hearts of others. You cannot give more than what God has already given. Stay true to God’s word.

I pray today that you will know what the Bible says; that you will speak the true gospel message to people; that God will give you the words to say; and that many will know Jesus through the message you speak.

Mark 6:2 Amaze Them

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When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?” Mark 6:2

Jesus went back to His hometown to speak to the people and perform miracles there. As He was speaking many people were amazed at Him. All they saw was a little boy who had grown up in a carpenters house and is now a grown man who spoke with authority. They were amazed and wondered how He got that ability.

Growing up as a carpenter’s son, Jesus would not have received training to be a great speaker or to be a preacher. His training was to be a carpenter.

However, when He spoke He spoke with authority and wisdom. No one who had grown up around Jesus could understand how He could do so much. They did not see what could not be seen. Jesus was speaking and doing miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit in His life.

Over the centuries there have been many different great speakers in this world, but most have received some training in how to speak that way. They have worked in the realm of public speaking, getting better and better until they became great.

A believer has something different. Yes, a believer can go to bible college and get a degree, but that will only move a person only so far forward, then fall short. The unseen ingredient is the infilling and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The brand new believer can speak with great authority and do miracles, if he allows God to guide Him and he is doing what God wants him to do.

When you allow God to guide you, you will amaze those who know you. You will be a new creation in Jesus Christ. You will have wisdom and understanding that the world will not understand.  You will be able to perform miracles that the world cannot explain. You will speak with the words of God and not your own words or the words and wisdom of this world.

As you go through this life, what are people saying about you? Do they see a changed person? Are they amazed at what you are doing or saying?

Allow them to see God through you.

I pray today that you will be guided by God’s Holy Spirit; that you will speak only with the words and wisdom of God; that the world will see Jesus through you; and that many will know Jesus because of you.

Matthew 7:21 More Than Just Talk, Do It

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

Jesus makes a very harsh statement that not everyone who calls Him Lord will be saved. It is only those who will do the will of God the Father in heaven.

Words and statements can sound very good. If a person can word it correctly, he can make the best sounding arguments or thoughts. The words can make a person look or sound very good, even when they are not.

People who kidnap or abuse children, often use kind, nice words to trap them. They speak as though they are the best person on the earth, yet are filled with evil. Their actions do not match their words.

Inside the church, there are also many people who claim that Jesus is Lord, know all the verses to say, and can sing all the songs, yet never do His will at all. Some don’t do it out of fear, because what God is asking them to do sounds crazy. Others don’t do it out of rebellion, because they want to still do their own thing. Some start to do God’s will, but when it gets difficult, they give up and go on a different path.

God will never ask a person to do something that He is not willing to give the strength and ability to do. He has perfect love for each person, which will cast out the fear a person may have.

Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing. You are to be just like Jesus. Getting into heaven is not just a simple prayer and a few words. It is also actions based off of those words and prayers. If your actions do not back up the words, then the words are of no meaning or purpose.

In your own life, you must take a look at how you look at Jesus. You may call Him ‘Lord’, but is He really your Master?

As you call Him ‘Lord’, are you doing what the Father wants?

Just as you call out on Jesus to save you, you must also be willing to do what the Father wants you to do. Seek God and find out what He wants you to do, then just do it. It will be worth it in the end.

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will not fear what God asks you to do; that you will do more than just speak to God; and that your actions will show you are a follower of Jesus.

Jeremiah 32:3 Why Do You Speak That Way?

Now Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him there, saying, “Why do you prophesy as you do? You say, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will capture it.'” Jeremiah 32:3

Jeremiah had been prophesying that God would destroy Judah and Jerusalem placing the people into captivity in Babylon. This went against the beliefs of the Israelites, because they were the chosen nation and God would not do something like that. The king of Judah had Jeremiah put in prison because of his words. He also asked him why he would say things like that. Jeremiah was just speaking what God had told him to say.

People love to talk about a lot of things. There are some people who can speak for a long time and not really say anything. Others speak just a few words and seem to speak whole volumes of information very quickly.

Words can build up or they can tear down. It all depends on what words are being said and how they are being said.

Most people when they speak, they are just speaking what they think or feel in the moment. It is common for  a person to blurt out something in the heat of the moment that he regrets only seconds later. A few people will actually take time to think about what they are about to say to ensure it is spoken well and is correct and helpful.

As a believer you are responsible for what you say or don’t say. You are also responsible for how you say things. One of your first responsibilities is to speak the gospel message to everyone you can.

The reason you have this responsibility to speak like that is that Jesus gave His life for you and told you to do it. You are to speak all the words of God. Sometimes those words are words of love and comfort, showing how Jesus cares for a person. Other times those words will be harsh words warning of destruction and death coming.

You must keep your focus on what God is saying to the people you meet with. What does He want you to say? That is the only thing you should be saying. It gives you the reason why you speak what you do, whether peaceful or harsh.

I pray today that you will know the words of God; that you will only speak what God wants you to say; that your purpose for speaking is to point people to God; and that many will know Jesus because of your words.