Paul's Ministry in Thessalonica
1 You know for yourselves, brothers, that our visit to you was not fruitless. 2 Far from it; after all the injury and outrage which to your knowledge we had suffered at Philippi, we declared the gospel of God to you frankly and fearlessly, by the help of our God. 3 A hard struggle it was. Indeed, the appeal we make never springs from error or base motive; there is no attempt to deceive; 4 but God has approved us as fit to be entrusted with the Gospel, and on those terms we speak. We do not curry favour with men; we seek only the favour of God, who is continually testing our hearts. 5 Our words have never been flattering words, as you have cause to know; nor, as God is our witness, 6 have they ever been a cloak for greed. We have never sought honour from men, from you or from anyone else, although as Christ's own envoys we might have made our weight felt; 7 but we were as gentle with you as a nurse caring fondly for her children. 8 With such yearning love we chose to impart to you not only the gospel of God but our very selves, so dear had you become to us. 9 Remember, brothers, how we toiled and drudged. We worked for a living night and day, rather than be a burden to anyone, while we proclaimed before you the good news of God.
10 We call you to witness, yes and God himself, how devout and just and blameless was our behaviour towards you who are believers. 11 As you well know, we dealt with you one by one, as a father deals with his children, appealing to you by encouragement, as well as by solemn injunctions, 12 to live lives worthy of the God who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
13 This is why we thank God continually, because when we handed on God's message, you received it, not as the word of men, but as what it truly is, the very word of God at work in you who hold the faith. 14 You have fared like the congregations in Judaea, God's people in Christ Jesus. You have been treated by your countrymen as they are treated by the Jews, 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out, the Jews who are heedless of God's will and enemies of their fellow-men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles to lead them to salvation. All this time they have been making up the full measure of their guilt, and now retribution has overtaken them for good and all.
Paul's Desire to Visit the Church Again
17 MY FRIENDS, when for a short spell you were lost to us - lost to sight, not to our hearts - we were exceedingly anxious to see you again. 18 So we did propose to come to Thessalonica - I, Paul, more than once - but Satan thwarted us. 19 For after all, what hope or joy or crown of pride is there for us, what indeed but you, when we stand before our Lord Jesus at his coming? 20 It is you who are indeed our glory and our joy.
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