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Read Introduction to 1 Thessalonians

 

“Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.”
 
or from others,
The desire to be well known in order to gain prestige among men moves many Christian leaders today.  “Give me top billing.  I need my place in history.”  This is the kind of motivation that moves some politicians and athletes. 
Some people will not cooperate if they are not the top banana.  They view their reputation with much higher value than their integrity. They want people to think well of them.  We love to have people have an exaggerated estimation of us.  Somehow, we never sell ourselves short.  We downgrade others and upgrade ourselves.  The root of the whole thing is pride. 
PRINCIPLE:
True ministry goes against our natural tendency to advance ourselves.
APPLICATION:
By nature, we like to be noticed.  Many people in ministry seek this as their central motive for ministry.  It is difficult to separate these things from our ministry so that we operate on pure motives.  When we get to the place where we minister whether people notice us or not, we are at the place where we honor God. 
We serve the Lord when people disrespect us, neglect us or even take advantage of us.  We are not serving people in this case but the Lord.  Some people constantly feel sorry for themselves because others do not take notice of them.  The heart of this attitude is a ministry designed to get recognition from men. 
1 Co 13: 4 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up…”
We all want people to think well of us.  We even want people to have an exaggerated estimation of us.  We would rather they overestimate us than underestimate us.  We always overestimate ourselves.  We never sell ourselves short.  We are quick to sell others short.  If people do not accept our estimation of ourselves then we are quick to downgrade them.  At root, this is unabashed pride. 
Ph 2: 5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” 
It is spiritual suicide to attempt to share in God’s glory. 
Is 42: 8 “I am the Lord, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another,
Nor My praise to carved images.”
Do you ascribe to God the credit that is due His name or do you assume that credit to yourself?
Ps 29: 2 “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”
Glory is God’s due.  It is not our due. 
Ps 115: 1 “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.”
Some people love the praise of men more than the praise of God.  The gospel team lived to the praise of God (2:4).  They rejoiced in delivering the gospel message itself. 
Jn 12: 42 “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
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