Relating To Others
To sense the presence of God when you walk into a room is normal Christianity. When you walk into a situation people should sense the presence of God — that’s holiness.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doin’ alright today? Well some of you listen very early in the morning, and some very late at night, and some in the afternoon. So whatever time it is where you are, I pray that God may tailor-make the truth just to fit your need today. The Holy Spirit of God has a way of taking the eternal Word of God and suiting it to your own need. And may that be so for you dear friend this very day.
We are sort of recapping the truths in 1 Thessalonians. Last time we got together we did Chapter 1. Let’s look at Chapter 2. And I’ve called this interpersonal relations in the light of the second coming. The first was the Gospel and its effect in the light of the second coming. Now interpersonal relations in the light of the second coming.
He said, “You know what our relationship was with you?” Well, what was it? He said “We were bolden by God to speak unto you,” — 1 verse 2. He said, “Our exaltation was not of deceit, or uncleanness, or guile.” Not of deceit –who is honest, uncleanness– it was pure. Not in guile– it was not manipulative. But it was, it was considered a holy commission — we were put in trust with the Gospel. God trusted us with the Gospel. “We didn’t use flattering words,” he said, “nor a cloak of covetousness”. But… and we didn’t seek credit from people, “nor of men sought we glory.”
He said, “We were gentle among you as a nurse, nursing mother cherishes her own children. We were affectionately desirous of you. We were willing to give you our whole life. Day and night we worked because we didn’t want to be chargeable to any of you. We were behaving “holily, justly, and unblameably,” that was his behavior. And he said, “Be exalted, and comforted, and charged, every one of you.”
Now, what about all of this? Well the solid fact is effective ministry either by lay people or the clergy as the case may be — the Bible doesn’t make a distinction between clergymen and laymen, you know that. That’s, that’s something that’s been brought in by people. So all of us… you know the ground is level at the cross, isn’t it? And all of us are under the Great Commission, “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature”. And all of us have the command to minister to other people. The equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, you read in Ephesians 4.
So I take it that this, this second chapter and the points that we’ve just ticked off quickly, apply to all of us, you and to me, and all of us. Now let’s take a look at them just for a moment in recapping the truth, shall we?
He said, “We were bold in God to speak onto the Gospel.” Why? What gives you confidence in dealing with people on the basis of the Gospel? Well, the fact that your own heart is right, not of deceit — you’re telling the truth; not of uncleanness. You haven’t any unfinished business with God, your heart’s clean. Not in guile, you’re not trying to manipulate people. But you considered it a, a holy trust that God has given you, you were allowed of God to put in trust with the Gospel. And therefore you have to please God, not as pleasing man but pleasing God who tries the hearts.
See you know, this is the personal background of our relationship with other people if we’re going to deal with the Gospel, all right. You can be bold, and that boldness is based upon an honest heart, a clean heart, a non-manipulative attitude, an awareness that you are trusted with the Gospel — it’s not yours in a proprietary sense, but God has, has trusted you with it.
Now your methods… He said, “We didn’t use flattering words.” Flattery of course is, is soft soap, and some wag has said, “Soft soap is 90% lie.” (Laughs) Well flattering words you don’t get anywhere with that. “Nor a cloke of covetousness.” He wasn’t trying to line his own pocketbook with shekel. And he wasn’t trying to get any, any fame for himself, “Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others.” He wasn’t trying to get recognition.
I remember the young man who said, “Pass the ball to me ‘cause I have to look good.” Well, you don’t have to look good, you don’t have to be anything except faithful. “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life.” And then in, in this matter of methods in dealing with the people he said, “We were gentle as a nursing mother cherisheth her own children.” It’s one thing to baby-sit somebody else’s children; it’s another thing to take care of your own, isn’t that true? Oh yeah, what a difference! Well he said, “My gentleness was the kind that a mother reserves for her own children.” — that’s what he’s saying there. And I… so that means I was affectionately desirous of you, I wanted the best for you. And I was willing to do anything for you.
Sometimes through the past years as our children were growing up I would, I would chide my dear wife and say, “You know you’re just, you’re giving up your whole life for these kids.” And she would look at me and, look me right in the eye and say, “Yes, I am.” (Laughs) That ended the discussion. “Oh, willing to give your whole life.” Now that attitude is going to open hearts, beloved for your presentation of the Gospel.
You see you can’t be self-centered and manipulative, and have people convinced that Jesus is who He says He is, and that He’ll do what you say He will do. There has to be a demonstration on my part and on yours, a real concern, real love, and real willingness to sacrifice for the other person’s good. That’s a big order. Because how you going to meet the needs of everybody that, that encounters you throughout a given day?
Well trust the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit, He will guide you. There’s some people whom you might leave alone. There are other people to whom you ought to devote the very best attention you can. The Holy Spirit of God will guide you. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God” the Bible says. “He,” Jesus said, “When He has come, He will guide you into all truth and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
So you can depend on the blessed Spirit of God who comes to dwell on the believer’s heart. Yes you can. And you will know then what you ought to do. But the underlying principle I’ve given to you is absolutely true. Unless you and I are willing to put ourselves out a bit to sacrifice, to be willing to give ourselves to people… He said, “We were willing to have imparted unto you not the Gospel only, but our own souls because you are dear to us.”
Give yourself away to people. How do you do that? Number one, notice them. Number two, compliment them. Number three, find out what the need is and help to meet it. Number four, don’t forget them, follow them up. That’s how you give yourself away to people. And that my friend, opens the door for effective presentation of the Gospel.
This is in the light now of the second coming. Why? He says, “What is our hope or, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?” This is verse 19 Chapter 2. “What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye, you beloved people are our hope, you are our joy, you are our crown of rejoicing. Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?”
You see the, the real thrill of the second coming of Christ obviously is going to be see the Lord Jesus Christ. “So shall we ever be with the Lord” Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4. But I think second to that, and before any other kind of joy, will be the joy of seeing people that you have led to the Lord Jesus Christ. And somebody’ll come up to you on the golden streets and say, “Thank God you came my way. I’m here in the glory because you led me to Jesus.” Oh that will be the payoff, beloved. That will be greater reward than anything else you could possibly imagine. “I’m here because you led me to Jesus.” “You,” said Paul, “are the crown of rejoicing at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So, my relationship with people, what are they? To be there, to be based on the fact that Jesus is coming again. And the only possible enduring relationship with any other human being is in the light of His coming, and what will happen when He comes. My relationship with you needs to be based on the knowledge that number one, you need to be saved or you’d be eternally lost; and number two, I need to be the kind of person who can introduce you to Jesus, and be believed in what I say.
So then he said you know the kind of entrance we had. “We were bold in our God to speak the Gospel onto you.” Why? Because we were telling you the truth, no deceit. Our heart was clean — not uncleanness, we weren’t manipulating you — no guile, we considered it a holy trust and responsibility. We put in trust with the Gospel. We were trying to please God, not people. We didn’t use flattering words, nor were we trying to line our own pockets. But we were gentle like a, like a nursing mother cherishes her own children. We were willing to just give ourselves away to you as we preached unto you, the gospel of John, the gospel of God, excuse me.
Now he said, “You’re witnesses, how we behaved,” and I’m going to wind up this few minutes with that verse. It’s how I behave that becomes the index of whether or not I shall be believed. And so he said, “You’re witnesses how I behaved.” How was it? Holy living, justly and unblameably. Exaltation and comfort, and holiness, and justly, justice and unblameably —that’s the way he behaved. Holy — that means related to God in all of His fullness and His attributes. To sense the presence of God when you walk into a room is normal Christianity. When you walk into a situation people should sense the presence of God — that’s holiness.
Justly means you, you do the right thing regardless of whether it’s convenient or not. Justly, what’s the right thing to do? And then said he, “Unblameably.” That means you make sure that nothing you say or do is going to harm someone else and cause blame upon you and the Gospel of Christ. He said, “You’re witnesses.” It’s my behavior that lays the foundation for a believable witness for Christ.
Give some thought to the way you behave today, would you? Give some thought to the way you speak, the way you react to people, the way you greet them, the way you deal with situations as they come up throughout the day. Pray your way through the day and commit each situation to your blessed Lord. And let Him guide you in the kind of behavior that makes Jesus attractive.
Dear Father today oh may the way we behave, lay a foundation for people to trust in Jesus. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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