by Alvin Gan
1 Thessalonians 2
Paul's Work in Thessalonica
1 Brothers and sisters, you know our visit to you was
not a failure. 2 Before we came to you, we suffered in Philippi. People there insulted us, as
you know, and many people were against us. But our God helped us to be brave and to tell you his Good News.
3 Our appeal does not come from lies or wrong reasons, nor were we trying to trick you. 4
But we speak the Good News because God tested us and trusted us to do it. When we speak, we are not trying
to please people, but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know that we never tried to influence you
by saying nice things about you. We were not trying to get your money; we had no selfishness to hide from
you. God knows that this is true. 6 We were not looking for human praise, from you or anyone
else, 7 even though as apostles of Christ we could have used our authority over you.
But we were very gentle with you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8 Because we
loved you, we were happy to share not only God's Good News with you, but even our own lives. You had become
so dear to us! 9 Brothers and sisters, I know you remember our hard work and difficulties. We
worked night and day so we would not burden any of you while we preached God's Good News to you.
10 When we were with you, we lived in a holy and honest way, without fault. You know this is
true, and so does God. 11 You know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own
children. 12 We encouraged you, we urged you, and we insisted that you live good lives for God,
who calls you to his glorious kingdom.
13 Also, we always thank God because when you heard his message from us, you accepted it as the
word of God, not the words of humans. And it really is God's message which works in you who believe. 14
Brothers and sisters, your experiences have been like those of God's churches in Christ that are in Judea.
You suffered from the people of your own country, as they suffered from the Jews 15 who killed
both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and forced us to leave that country. They do not please God and are
against all people. 16 They try to stop us from teaching those who are not Jews so they may be
saved. By doing this, they are increasing their sins to the limit. The anger of God has come to them at
Paul Wants to Visit Them Again
17 Brothers and sisters, though we were separated
from you for a short time, our thoughts were still with you. We wanted very much to see you and tried hard
to do so. 18 We wanted to come to you. I, Paul, tried to come more than once, but Satan stopped
us. 19 You are our hope, our joy, and the crown we will take pride in when our Lord Jesus Christ
comes. 20 Truly you are our glory and our joy.
Questions to Ponder
- Paul experiences in sharing the gospel was not always pleasant.
What are some of
the things he had to endure? (See also 2 Cor 11:23-29)
- What are some fears you may have regarding evangelism?
- What do you think motivated Paul to keep going?
- Why do you think it's important to have the right motives in evangelism?