1 Thessalonians 2
1 Thessalonians 2

1 Thessalonians 2

1 Thessalonians 2:1-20

1  For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain.

2  But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.

3  For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit.

4  But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.

5  For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness—God is witness.

6  Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.

7  But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.

8  So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.

9  For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.

10  You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe;

11  as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children,

12  that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

13  For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

14  For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans,

15  who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men,

16  forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.

17  But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire.

18  Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.

19  For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?

20  For you are our glory and joy.

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7 months ago

There is potential for great adversity in fulfilling what we have been called to in the kingdom. Though endeavoring to represent the Father’s heart of love, there are those who will participate in accusations and resistance that present a great opportunity to become hurt, offended, and adjusted in the content of our sharing. Paul indicates, however, that the magnitude of opposition they experienced did not harden them and alter their sharing from gentle and passionate hearts. What a wonderful demonstration this is of a maturity in love, that the affliction received didn’t produce offense and a withdrawal from completing their own service in ministry. There was immense justification for what might have been seen as an appropriate response of standing up for themselves. However, the Spirit within them, that nature of love they had become one with in Christ, disallowed any fear or self-focus that would have shut down the flow of love through them. Their sharing did not become filtered by concern for how it would be received, and yet it was kept in a sincere passion for the betterment of the church over any cost to them. Their passion for the body superseded any personal risk.

It’s interesting that, while Christ is the focus and gratification in worship, it is His body in His presence at His coming that is Paul’s hope, joy, and rejoicing. Separating Christ from His body in the expression of passion and honor is to separate from Christ Himself and corrupt the very nature we’ve received from Him. There is a function to fulfill and truth to be told in the service to which we’re called, but the only motivation and legitimate satisfaction for this will come when efforts produce reception and production of the Word in those our lives are poured out for. Their maturity and fellowship with the Father will be the drive that moves past any tribulation that would disable the victorious stance of love. It’s only in maintained love that this will be possible – so worth the submission of self.

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