Who are we to please?

 Romans 15:1-4 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

It is an exciting day in which we live. 

The internet, social media, and technological advances have allowed us to broadcast the gospel through varied mediums worldwide. Whether it be the printed word, across the radio airwaves, or digital broadcasts, we have more ways available than ever before to tell a lost and dying world of God’s love.

With all that exposure, what is given? What example are they seeing?

The Bible warns us what is to happen in these last days.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Teachers, not preachers, are filling the void. 

Just a glance at the most prolific ‘pastors’ is most revealing.

Bishop David Oyedepo – Net worth $150M

Bishop T. D. Jakes – Net worth $147M

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome – Net worth $50M

Joel Osteen – Net worth $40M

Pastor Enoch Adeboye – Net worth $39M

Pastor Crelfo Dollar – Net worth $27M

Kenneth Copeland – Net worth $25M

Benny Hinn – Net worth $25M

Prophet T. B. Joshua – Net worth $10M

Pastor Joseph Prince – Net worth $5M

(according to Forbes Magazine 2020)

To say that serving God is a lucrative profession is made credible by these men. 

These men represent millions of people under their influence. The turning of our ears unto fables, or tall tales, come subtly. Unless we are students of God’s Word, we will be unable to discern right from wrong, or biblical from heresy. 

This passage struck me in several ways.

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”

Because one might have a forceful delivery, or have words that cause us to stop and think, it does not always mean that they are right. Our strength should be in the knowledge of the Word. I can hear a man teach the power of God. But, when I see the prayers of that man answered, it carries more weight. 

Bearing the infirmities of the weak is an exhausting task. Only those strong in the Lord will be able to carry this out. We may affect an outcome, but is it what God designed, or is it giving the minister the glory?

We must learn that whatever is done through us to help others should be for us to praise and glorify God. Any praise heaped upon us should be given to our Heavenly Father. Jesus was the most excellent example, and we should follow it. 

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.”

Our focus cannot be on ourselves, and it must be on those we are called to help. Investing in another human being to first bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, then helping them find the work God created them is a remarkable journey. 

One may wish to justify the rewards of such work. In the spirit of humility, can any of us say we line up with Jesus in the example He gave to us while here on earth?

Can any of the ten men named previously say their homes and lifestyle align with the Christ they preach?

The touch of ministry is personal. It should be local. To have a church and a pastor who knows you by name, who will visit you in the hospital, call you when you’re sick, and encourage you when you’re down is a blessing. The New Testament church ought to look like the one in the Book of Acts.

Acts 2:46-47 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

I wish not to detract from the ability we’re given to get the gospel worldwide. But Christ’s ministry was and is meant to be delivered through human touch. A screen cannot convey the proper emotion that being present can give. 

When we come alongside a brother or sister in the Lord during a crisis or time of need, we become bonded together. Sharing a burden makes it lighter. Praying together, unites our hearts as one. 

The magnificent byproduct of this is hope.

“…that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

Our enemy will continuously barrage us with ways to divide and separate. We must continue to fight not to lose the opportunities we have available to us. We will meet people today who need Jesus.

May we prepare before we go to have something to leave with them to guide them to the Lord. 

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