Bible Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
1 For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. 2 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. 3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 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. 5 For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 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.
9 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. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11 For you know how, like a father with his children, 12 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.
Reflection & Application
1 Thessalonians 2:3-6
- What was Apostle Paul’s view of himself?
- In what way do I understand myself as a person “approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel”?
- Apostle Paul says he “never came with words of flattery, nor … with a pretext for greed” in his dealings with the Thessalonians (or anyone else!). How was he able to be such an authentic person?
1 Thessalonians 2:7-12
- Notice that Apostle Paul not only preached the gospel, but his life was also characterized by “labor and toil.” What can I learn from this passage about Apostle Paul’s relationship with the Thessalonians? What concrete examples of zeal, diligence, or other specific manifestations of virtue back up and support my preaching of the gospel?