Sunday, November 6, 2016
Being a God Pleaser
UV 2115/10000 Being A God Pleaser
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ
Galatians 1 v 10
Paul writes with a touch of sardonism that if you want to be popular with people, the best way to do it is not by becoming a servant of Jesus. He is underlining the need for leaders to be God pleasers and not man-pleasers. Often, the stand one takes could offend many people and even turn them quite hostile and openly inimical. Speaking the truth has never been popular. People like to hear what they are itching to hear. But teachers of the word have a duty to teach what is on God’s heart. It is intended not to make people cheerful or comfortable or proud but it is intended to convict and create change for the better.
Paul repeatedly states in his epistles that he received the gospel and the commission to teach or share it with all nations not from people but from the Lord Himself. He remained ever faithful to what was entrusted to him, never compromising on the tenor or tone or content of communicating the whole truth of the gospel to diverse audiences, some who were faithful, some who were hostile, some who were prosecuting and judging him. He was often flogged, imprisoned, tried and eventually sentenced to death. But the fear of man or pain or punishment by the antagonists or people in authority did not deter or discourage him.
The Lord tries our hearts or our attitudes to check our faith, its integrity and stability in difficult and different circumstances. He is most pleased when we are bold, fearless but not necessarily tactless or unwise in the way we communicate. We need to communicate the truth with grace in all circumstances even as Paul addressed the kings and rulers of the day with utmost respect and regard. He did not rely on the power of persuasion or eloquence or human wisdom or guile to win people to Christ but by the power of the Holy Spirit. He did not think himself either superior or inferior to the other apostles though he was more gifted and came to Christ with vast scholarship and knowledge. He did not allow the guilt of having persecuted the early believers and oppressed them ruthlessly in his great but misguided zeal. He was as single minded now in the spread of the gospel as he was earlier in impeding it, in preventing it from influencing more people. He had counted the cost of discipleship and was ever willing to pay the price upfront.
Prateep V Philip