08/22/2021 Do not ask for the glory of men

Do not ask for the glory of men

1Thessalonians 2:6-10; 8/22/2021; BCBC/IOUC; Rev. Paul Wang


What is glory? The glory mentioned in the Bible refers to the manifestation of God’s ontology. Especially in the New Testament, ontology asks about the relationship between Jesus and the Father. In this way, the relationship of the Holy Spirit will inevitably be asked. Therefore, the orientation of ontology will inevitably mention the proposition of the Trinity. The word “Trinity” is never mentioned in the Bible, but it clearly mentions the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When we ask about the relationship between these three, we are discussing the Trinity. It’s impossible to bury your head and escape!

When glory enters the hearts of people, there will be a tendency of polarization: one is to snatch the glory of God, and the other is to give glory to the only God worthy of glory. What is your choice? Let’s look at the first point:

Respectful identity

Without mentioning the apostles, even ordinary Christians, their status is already honorable enough, they are children of God, right? First of all, it can make people respect you. What is respect? Respect is the recognition and affirmation of the image and style of God in people’s lives, which leads to the fear of God and concern for people. The important thing is that respect is the foundation of love, and there is no love without respect. Paul said:We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. (1 Thessalonians 2:6)” Do you see the connotation? Respect is related to love, but not to glory. I have an old friend who is also a pastor. Because he had contributed some effort when the church was established, he asked the church to give him the title of emeritus pastor. I thought something was wrong at the time, and I just figured it out today because he has confused the relationship between respect and glory.

Second, don’t ask others for glory. You can be respected, but it does not mean that you force others to respect you! Face is given by people, and humiliation is given by oneself. You are an apostle of Christ, and people respect you because of their respect for Christ. People’s respect for you is to fulfill the mission of loving each other in Christ, nothing more. If you become more vigorous because people show respect to you for the reason of Christ, If you should ask the church for the title of emeritus pastor, you are robbing the glory of God. My friend is very cute, and every church he goes to proposes to be an emeritus pastor. If you don’t give it, just make emotions, slap the table, stare at your eyes, and the leader of the church only shook his head, not understanding why he was so persistent with the title of emeritus pastor.

Finally, give unconditional love. A spiritual person is respected not because of his position, but because of his life. Paul said: Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, (1 Thessalonians 2:7) Respect for love is the golden rule in the Bible, do you agree? Think about our relationship with the Lord. Isn’t it because of the sacrificing love He did for us on the cross, winning our respect,fear, commitment, companionship, dedication, and love? All we live in our whole life is to imitate the Lord! Paul said, you might as well try to imitate me, because I am imitating the Lord! This should be an example for our brothers and sisters to imitate each other, because we are all imitating the Lord! It’s like a mother nursing her own child, right? This is unconditional! Let’s look at the second point:

The direction of glory

Glory still has a direction? Yes, it is Christ! If the foundation of love is respect, then the foundation of glory is love. Can you understand? Asking for the glory of others is perplexity, and living out the glory of God is the direction of the mission. First, the will of the gospel. Have you discovered that people are driven by his will to preach the gospel? Will it? Man has no ability to preach the gospel to people beyond his time and space at the same time, and even less ability to love everyone in the world. Of course, God has this ability. People are limited, so they can only preach the gospel to the ones that God touched their heart to preach. The intention of the gospel is to be moved by God to preach the gospel to someone, and your willingness is to respond to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The willingness of the gospel is essentially a response to the great love of God. This love points out the direction of God’s glory, can you understand? Afghanistan has changed the sky and the power has shifted, showing compassion, and morality and ethics have reached the commanding heights. However, from the point of view of the will of the gospel, it is nothing more than the will of the gospel to spread from your Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Can you understand God’s heart for this generation today?

Second, the willingness to die. Don’t you know that preaching the gospel is always a matter of life. Christ has given his life on the cross, are you still skeptical? Is Christ willing to lay down his life, and hasn’t awakened your spring and autumn dreams yet? Believing in Jesus does not come to snatch benefits, to make a fortune, to glorify the ancestors, and to be prosperous, but to imitate the Lord’s death! Do you want to? Paul prayed for the salvation of his fellow citizens, and would rather go to hell by himself. Who of us Chinese would like to be saved for our compatriots and family members, and would rather go to hell by ourselves? Does the seminary have such a life passing on? Does the discipleship course have such a life model? It is not a slogan, but a life in all aspects of our treatment of time, money, inheritance, morality, honesty, frankness, confession and repentance. Are you really willing?

Finally, the willingness to love. Love can be simple, with no exchange of benefits, and without any ambition. Paul said it was like a mother feeding her own baby, right? Of course, due to the pollution of sin, parents nowadays rarely have unconditional love. Raising children to guard against old age is a selfish effort, right? The children are the property of Jehovah, and they are not owned by the parents who raised them. If parents raise children and hold the mentality that the children must repay, it will be difficult to establish an unconditional love relationship with each other. Can children live their lives without the wishes of their parents? Can they be weak? Can they not go to a prestigious school? Can they be not so outstanding? Love is love, there are no conditions! Love is to respect your child’s life, no matter how terrible his life is, he will still be the precious child in your heart! That is how God treats us! Let’s look at the third point:

Testimony of life

Life is lived, not spoken by the mouth. All day long, there is no testimony of life, and all you ask for is the glory of man. First of all, hard work. A man of God is supposed to work hard, and there is nothing to boast about. Look at Jesus’ testimony.He called his disciples to follow him, and the disciples asked him where he lived. He said, the Son of Man doesn’t even have a place for a pillow, do you still want to be my disciple? Is Jesus unable to make money? Is God short of money? Jesus came to the world and traveled to all cities and villages to heal and cast out demons. He was non-stop and his face was haggard. Isaiah testified that: He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Second, work day and night. When Jesus was alive, all except for his lack of handsomeness, no money, no car, no house, no children, and no decent job for making money. In his early years, he might have worked as a carpenter with his adoptive father Joseph, and came out to preach in his early thirties. He often prayed until late at night, and went to the wilderness early in the morning to pray there! After the worship, he went to visit, one of which healed Peter’s mother-in-law. Pray all night in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweat dripping down like blood.

Finally, blameless. On the other hand, in our current generation, there are also many who are corrupt officials, people are greedy for money, and pastors and ministers rely on money and real estate. How can the church be revived? The church draws the ground as a prison, the vanity of greed for the number of people, the reputation of the pastor, the position of elders, and the offering of deacons. Who cares about the gospel? Who cares about missions? Afghanistan is slaughtering God’s people, China is persecuting the church, and imprisoning torture God’s servants. Are you really indifferent? Paul said: You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. (1 Thessalonians 2:10) Who among us dares to imitate Paul and make this declaration?


Lord, please forgive our sins, because we have gone to ask for the glory of man! If we don’t live for you, where else can we find ways to live? Lord, I will only love you!