July 31, 2014
READ: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-10
We are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us (2 Corinthians 2:17).
Pastor guilty of bilking money from elderly woman . . . Church elder convicted of accounting fraud . . . Pastor of megachurch accused of financial misappropriation.
Headlines like these tell of an insidious sin that has plagued the church since it began (Acts 5:1-5; Romans 16:17-18; 1 Timothy 6:3-5).
As a minister of the gospel, the apostle Paul was careful to ensure that his conduct and motives were completely above board. He emphasised the necessity and priority of transparency, sincerity, honesty and integrity in his life and ministry. Careful not to be accused of being a fraud who profited monetarily from the church, Paul made sure that his message wasn’t faulty, his motives weren’t impure and his methods weren’t improper. How did he do this?
Firstly, Paul made himself fully accountable to other believers. He made his life an open book. “You can see we were not preaching with any deceit or impure motives or trickery” (1 Thessalonians 2:3), he wrote. More importantly, Paul knew he was accountable to God who had entrusted him to preach the good news. Paul’s singular purpose was “to please God” (v.4). There is no pretending, for God “alone examines the motives of our hearts” (v.4). Paul could say with confidence, “God is our witness that we were not pretending to be your friends just to get your money!” (v.5). Elsewhere, Paul wrote, “We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us” (2 Corinthians 2:17).
Like Paul, may we be able to say, “You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless towards all of you believers” (1 Thessalonians 2:10). —K.T. Sim
365-day plan› Luke 10:1-24
Read 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, Ephesians 5:3-5 and 1 Peter 5:2 to see the standards of integrity for Christian leaders.
How can you encourage the leaders—and others—in your church to pursue a blameless life? How has God been using you as a leader for His glory?