Proverbs 23 & 1 Thessalonians 2

Proverbs 23

    When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
        observe carefully what is before you,
    and put a knife to your throat
        if you are given to appetite.
    Do not desire his delicacies,
        for they are deceptive food.
    Do not toil to acquire wealth;
        be discerning enough to desist.
    When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
        for suddenly it sprouts wings,
        flying like an eagle toward heaven.
    Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;
        do not desire his delicacies,
    for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.
        “Eat and drink!” he says to you,
        but his heart is not with you.
    You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,
        and waste your pleasant words.
    Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
        for he will despise the good sense of your words.
    Do not move an ancient landmark
        or enter the fields of the fatherless,
    for their Redeemer is strong;
        he will plead their cause against you.
    Apply your heart to instruction
        and your ear to words of knowledge.
    Do not withhold discipline from a child;
        if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
    If you strike him with the rod,
        you will save his soul from Sheol.
    My son, if your heart is wise,
        my heart too will be glad.
    My inmost being will exult
        when your lips speak what is right.
    Let not your heart envy sinners,
        but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.
    Surely there is a future,
        and your hope will not be cut off.
    Hear, my son, and be wise,
        and direct your heart in the way.
    Be not among drunkards
        or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
    for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
        and slumber will clothe them with rags.
    Listen to your father who gave you life,
        and do not despise your mother when she is old.
    Buy truth, and do not sell it;
        buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
    The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
        he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
    Let your father and mother be glad;
        let her who bore you rejoice.
    My son, give me your heart,
        and let your eyes observe my ways.
    For a prostitute is a deep pit;
        an adulteress is a narrow well.
    She lies in wait like a robber
        and increases the traitors among mankind.
    Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
        Who has strife? Who has complaining?
    Who has wounds without cause?
        Who has redness of eyes?
    Those who tarry long over wine;
        those who go to try mixed wine.
    Do not look at wine when it is red,
        when it sparkles in the cup
        and goes down smoothly.
    In the end it bites like a serpent
        and stings like an adder.
    Your eyes will see strange things,
        and your heart utter perverse things.
    You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
        like one who lies on the top of a mast.
    “They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;
        they beat me, but I did not feel it.
    When shall I awake?
        I must have another drink.”

(Proverbs 23 ESV)

1 Thessalonians 2

    For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

    For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

    And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!

    But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.

(1 Thessalonians 2 ESV)

1 Thessalonians 2: True love for God will lead a man into proclaiming the gospel of Christ no matter what it may cost that man. True love for others will lead a man to do what is most redemptive for the other person regardless of what it may cost him. The apostle Paul is so concerned with proclaiming the gospel and cares so much about those whom he proclaims it to that even when he knows it will lead to more persecution, he boldly chooses to proclaim it anyway.   

Can we claim to truly love someone if we are unwilling to pay the cost of caring for their soul? Do we ever find ourselves looking for the most convenient way to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others and the glory of God?

Those who have been truly captivated by the gospel of Christ and those who care for the eternal souls of others will consider risking everything for the glory of God without expecting anything for themselves in return. Why are we fearfully remaining silent about the incredible good news of Jesus Christ our Lord? What do we really have to lose versus what someone else truly has to gain? No matter what we may have to suffer or no matter how shamefully we might be treated, may we declare the gospel with boldness in the hope that it may take root in power and with full conviction. May we freely find ourselves sacrificing for the salvation of others and in service to our Lord.