You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. 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. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 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. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed-God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.
O Lord, my God,
I am overwhelmed by the life-changing power, eye-opening Spirit, and deep conviction that came to me when I heard the good news about Jesus, the Christ, Your Son who died and rose to life for me. You have revealed to me through Your Spirit the price people paid to bring the unabashed truth to me. I forget about the harassment, hostility and hardship they put up with to bring me this Blessed Hope. Since I'd rather not risk shame and suffering I'm inclined to keep the secret to myself. Forgive me, O Lord, for being scared stiff of strong opposition! You did not give me a Spirit of timidity, but one of unstoppable power!
Today I ask that You give me the remarkable bravery and boldness of Paul and Silas who dared to deliver the good news that Jesus saves to the Thessalonians despite the fact that they were beaten, bloodied, bruised, and thrown behind bars in the next town over.
You know that I'm prone to please people. Forgive me, O God! You are the One who tests my heart, not mortal man. You know there is a world-wide trend to water-down the Blessed Message so that it won't be publicly offensive. Lord, let me never again discredit the penalty You paid for me, nor the price paid by Paul, Silas, Timothy, and my own spiritual parent by speaking smooth sounding words that mask the truth. Because of their fearlessness and faithfulness, I have received the Blessed Hope of Heaven.
By Your Spirit, give me a pure heart and right motives so that I will be ardent and authentic, willing to endure insults and indignity to take the gospel in the world for the glory of the Blessed Name of Jesus who suffered and bled and died for me. Amen.
According to God's own Words Christians are despised people, not popular. The trend today in the seeker-sensitive, culturally-relevant, emerging church is to mask the truth with smooth sounding words. God's promise for our faith isn't that we'll feel happy, healthy, and terrific. In fact, we'll likely feel like failures when we share the whole truth because it will not be popular, and people will reject us.
1 Thessalonians 3:4 When Paul, Silas, and Timothy were with the Thessalonians, they kept telling them that they would be persecuted. The gift of salvation is absolutely free, but it will cost you everything, and that is the point we usually leave out because it is offensive.
Be careful not to shame the gospel of Jesus Christ.