Yesterday I talked about living a “Blameless Life,” and as I began to what a blameless life was? Since Paul had said that he lived that way, what did it mean? Well, he told the Thessalonians that when he ministered to the believers there, he always tried to encourage them, and never used an unethical schemes, corrupt practices, or deception. But one translation goes further by saying, “For our appeal in preaching does not originate from delusion or error or impure purpose or motive, nor in fraud or deceit (I Thessalonians 2:3)
So maybe we could say that a blameless life is one that is lived without any deceit. I remember that many years ago, John Michael Talbot produced an album called, “Troubadour Of The Great King.” On that album there was a tremendous song entitled, “Without Guile.”
It is not for us to be wise
It is not for us to calculate our gain
We should be lowly and pure
As the children of the kingdom
Of the King
A King without guile
We should not Seek
To be in charge of another
We should seek just to be
The servants of all men
So those of us who must lead
Will lead as only They follow
Follow the King
Who leads without guile
So we are to live without guile in our heart. Paul was saying, “When I ministered to you, I lived in your midst, and I was not a fraud, preaching one thing to you and yet living another. My behavior was an open book!”
How many of us Pastors can make that claim? Don’t look at me with that blank stare, we need to examine our hearts and see if we have been manipulative, and conniving in our ministry.
Another thought about living a blameless life, is that we do not touch anything unclean. Now this is omitted in most translations, but King Jim includes the word, “uncleanness.” You know, “For our exhortation did not come from . . . uncleanness” (I Thessalonians 2:3). Why was that removed? I don’t know, but Paul’s emphasis here is on sensuality or lust. He was saying, “Not an unclean word came out of my mouth. My conversation was pure, coming from a clean heart.” This is important. You see, Paul had his body under control. There was no fleshly passion driving him — no spirit of lust or fornication possessed his mind. He was a free man!
Now this is a sensitive topic for some, but a believer who tells dirty jokes, makes sexual innuendos, or has roving eyes is someone whose heart has not yet been cleansed! If you are going to walk blameless before our Lord, you must have clean ears, a clean heart and a clean tongue! You can not peruse the Playboy magazines or secretly surf the porn sites online. You must keep your thoughts, ideas and all of your actions pure and “above board.”
Another thought about living a blameless life, we need to live (and minister) without deceiving people. Remember how Paul wrote, “Our exhortation did not didn’t use unethical schemes, corrupt practices, or [and here it is] deception.”
That’s right, if a believer (or minister) is living without error or guile, they are not trying to be clever, crafty or manipulative. They have no hidden agenda and is totally open and honest. Now I sometimes have difficulty believing that about some of the preachers out there, but I should not be judging them, and I apologize. But Paul said, “I did not manipulate you into the kingdom of God nor did I use clever words or try to sell you little trinkets to increase our bank accounts (oops. Sorry), but we also did not try to play on your feelings. I gave the gospel to you straight!”
Paul never played word games; he never used psychology to get people to like him. Paul wrote, “As you know, we never used flattery or schemes to make money. God is our witness! We didn’t seek praise from people, from you or from anyone else, although as apostles of Christ we had the right to do this. Instead, we were gentle when we were with you, like a mother taking care of her children” (I Thessalonians 2:5-7). Oh man, that is a rare commodity in our modern churches. But when sin came in, Paul rebuked it with thunder out of heaven! He did not seek or need approval of anyone, yet he loved people with all his heart.
Paul was always thinking that the Lord was watching him and checking his motives. He refused to allow any from “from every kind of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22) and lived as if Jesus was coming within the hour!
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list. However, you can also find these messages at: Thought For The Day)