On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 (NIV)
Have I been tested? Why do you ask? Well, if I have been tested and I have still been given this ministry then I must have passed the test. I must have your approval. Does that surprise you? Yes, it surprises me. Surprised is not a strong enough word to describe what I am feeling. What are you feeling? I am feeling amazement. How so? The idea that I could pass your test and be approved and given a ministry to do for you is astounding. It’s incredible. It is beyond belief. It is very difficult to comprehend. Why is that? I am so unworthy. I can’t imagine how I could have passed your test. Think about it.
You are right about two things. What’s that? You are right that you are unworthy. You are right in thinking that you have passed my test. Those two thoughts don’t go together. They don’t add up. How do you think you passed my test? For me to have passed your test, I think you must have taken it for me. Now, you are on to something. You took the test for me? You made me able to pass your test? Which one is it? How could I have possibly passed your test? You tell me. Well, I did admit to you that I am unworthy. I have confessed my sin to you. I have asked for your forgiveness. I did receive your cleansing. With all that in mind, I can understand how you made me worthy to be able to serve you. You gave me a fresh and clean and new life to live with and for you. You became my Savior. Yes, I did. That was the first part of your test.
What was the second part of my test? I am your Savior. Yes, you are. Who else am I? You are my Lord. Yes, I am. What does it mean for you to follow me as your Lord? I think of the answer to your question in this way. Your gift a salvation cost me nothing. It cost you everything. I did not or cannot earn my salvation. It is a gift. Yes, it is. But, following you as my Lord will cost me everything. I will go wherever you guide me. I will do whatever you ask of me. My life is in your hands. I want to know and do your will. I want to live a life that is pleasing to you in every way. Will I follow you as my Lord? Yes, I will. That is a test. Yes, it is. That is the second part of your test which you have passed.
I want to ask you something. Go ahead. Is it really a difficult and painful struggle for you to follow me as your Lord? Is it something you would rather not do? Does it take every ounce of your effort for you to want to know and do my will? No, not at all. Why is that? You love me. I love you. My love for you makes it the desire of my heart and the passion of my life to do what is pleasing to you. That is very good and pleasing to me. That is how you have passed my test and been given a ministry. For that I am thankful and grateful.
Lord, the idea that I have been approved and entrusted with a ministry to do for you is so exciting. Help me to faithfully serve you through any suffering or mistreatment I may experience. It is the desire of my heart to please you. Test my heart and use me. Amen
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