7/7/16 The Apostles Defend Their Work

“You, yourselves, already know that we did not come to Thessalonica simply to sit around lazily.  We came hoping to bring the light of Jesus’ message into the darkness of people’s hearts.  Though we came bearing the marks of the beating we endured in Philippi, and even among many of the people of Thessalonica our message was received with anger, we did not shrink back from proclaiming the message to all of you.  We came to try to change hearts, not through trickery or lies, but through the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.  The words we proclaim are given to us by God, and because He has given us this work to do, we do it not to gain popularity with people, but to please Him.  We did not speak words of flattery, nor did we try to hide a selfish purpose under the words we spoke.  God Himself examined our hearts and found us worthy of this work, and He is the one who speaks in our favor.  We don’t want to be revered, we only want to instill reverence for God.  Even though we are Jesus’ apostles, nothing we do is done to gain any reward for ourselves.  With you, as with all the new believers we work with, we were like loving mothers, gently nourishing and loving you as our children in the faith.  We would have given not just Jesus’ message, but our own lives for you because of our deep love for you.  We worked ourselves almost to death, day and night, so that we would not be a burden to you but would be able to support ourselves as we brought Jesus’ message to you.  All of you believers know, as does God, that we worked hard to stay above reproach in everything we said and did while we were among you.  And you know of our hope, like parents have for their children, that you would do the same in your lives so that you may be beacons of light drawing others to God as well.”

 

1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

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