Key Verse | 1 Thessalonians 2:8

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.

 

 

Scripture | 1 Thessalonians 2


Paul's Ministry to the Thessalonians

For you yourselves know, brothers, 1 that our coming to you was not in vain. 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. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 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. For we never came with words of flattery, 2 as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle 3 among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 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.

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.

13 And we also thank God constantly 4 for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men 5 but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 6 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last! 7

Paul's Longing to See Them Again

17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

Footnotes

[1] 2:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 9, 14, 17
[2] 2:5 Or with a flattering speech
[3] 2:7 Some manuscripts infants
[4] 2:13 Or without ceasing
[5] 2:13 The Greek word anthropoi can refer to both men and women
[6] 2:14 The Greek word Ioudaioi can refer to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, who opposed the Christian faith in that time
[7] 2:16 Or completely, or forever

Relationships Over Transactions



Devo | 1 Thessalonians 2

To what lengths should we go to share the gospel? Often, we get caught up in far too many excuses when it comes to sharing the good news: the timing wasn't right, I don't know how, or I don't know enough...

To what lengths should we go to share the gospel? Often, we get caught up in far too many excuses when it comes to sharing the good news: the timing wasn't right, I don't know how, or I don't know enough about the Bible. Anxieties begin to settle in. What if they ask questions and I don't know the answer? We overcomplicate the greatest truth and let fear overpower our faith in God's love.

The Apostle Paul suffered severe persecution and rejection on his journey to share the gospel with the nations. He was whipped, beaten with rods, stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and much more. Yet, Paul rejoiced in all his sufferings because he knew they all pointed back to his hope in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:3-5).

Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 that he was ready not only to share with the Thessalonians the gospel of God, but also to invest his own life in them as well. Why? Because he loved them, he was affectionately desirous of them, and he knew that his hope was not in their response but in Christ alone. Jesus tells us that the whole law and prophets rest on loving God and loving others (Matthew 22:37-40). When we share the gospel from a place of love and hope, all fears and anxieties fall away. We get to join Paul in simply sharing the gospel and ourselves, allowing all fears and consequences to fade in the background.

If we hear the gospel but do not turn from any idols or do not desire to faithfully serve God, then it is likely that we have not truly received the gospel. When we fully surrender our lives to the gospel, the Spirit gets to work within us. The Spirit transforms us into imitators of Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 2:13-14), who spent His life pointing people back to the Father. Today, let's fully surrender to the gospel and watch the Spirit transform us to be more like Christ.

So, Church, to what lengths should we go to share the gospel? Let us join Paul in a resounding "whatever the cost, Lord."

Discussion Questions

1. If Jesus came back tomorrow, would there be someone you would wish you had shared the gospel with before His return?

2. What are some of your current obstacles in sharing the gospel?

3. If you've never shared the gospel and don't even know where to begin, please check out Watermark's ministries Unashamed or Equipped Disciple!

4. Reflect on your daily schedule. Where is God calling you to share the gospel with others?

Meet Robert Monroy

Hello! Friends call me Rob, but my mom calls me Roberto. I spent 29 years living for the world before surrendering to the Lord's call on my life. Since then, I've been blessed to serve with the Watermark Community Development Corporation, where I meet new friends and walk with them as they begin their employment journey. Outside of work, you can catch me hanging out with my community group, cheering for the Mavericks, or winning a game of FIFA. If God has gifted you with resume writing skills or interview prep talents, consider serving with the Job Connection Program.

7 Comments available

Hugh Stephenson 3 months ago

GM Rob! Thanks for your service in Wm CDC and Job Connection. What great ministries!

Thank you for this devo challenging me to “excel still more” in sharing the gospel.

Q1. My two unsaved adult children stay on my heart night and day. I know it’s not an information problem as they have had the exposure. Recently, Amy, (Proverbs 31), and I separately came to conclusion that we needed to write out what we believe and why – and then give it to our kids. At least at that point we can have a sense that we have been faithful. Then we wait and see what God wants us to do next. Maybe nothing…as He is already working in/on them.

Q2. No real obstacles other than fear of social risk. There is no reason I fear being, “…whipped, beaten with rods, stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and much more.”

Hugh Stephenson 3 months ago

Q4. A few years ago, JP noted that he was probably the only one in his corporate setting who could and would share the gospel at work. Very convicting.

Other natural areas for me are servers, tradesmen who come to work on the house, and clients for whom it’s a natural set up, such as their having prodigal children/grandchildren.

I love the truism; people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

“This is the secret of Paul’s success-the continual and selfless giving of his all to people whom he loved dearly.” (Constable-Ryrie).

It seems this passage has application for that truth.

I see Paul’s total commitment to his people. He relates to them as a “nursing mother” and a “father with his children”.

Hugh Stephenson 3 months ago

In Prodigal, we understand our role to be part sheriff and part shepherd. Both call for full engagement. Both call for a deeply devoted heart that loves Jesus and wants others to know Him and with the right mix of love and truth.

“The Christian minister is expected to give practical instruction to his fellow Christians, but not by way of dictation. Since he cannot rule by decree if he is to be true to the spirit of Christ, he must guide by example.” (Constable/Bruce)

For me, these comments link with Paul’s words/actions to represent the tough balance between sheriff and shepherd.

Jermaine Harrison 3 months ago

Rob, thanks for the reminder bro! Praying now that we would all be like the nursing mother in be 7-8, sharing our lives and the gospel. And be like the faithful father in vs 12, encouraging, comforting and urging others to live a life that honors the Lord!

Sue Bohlin 3 months ago

Thank you Rob!

I was struck by how Paul shows the heart of a discipler–it’s all about loving and shepherding as family. He mentions a nursing mother, a loving father, and brothers and sisters (three times, though the ESV continually leaves us women out of their translation of adelphos–grrrrrrr!).

I have come to see that physical family was paramount in the Old Testament, but spiritual family supersedes it in the New. That is so encouraging to all of us Christ followers, who instantly belong to God’s family regardless of our physical family relationships!

Linda Green 3 months ago

Your devotion to our Lord shines through your devo- encouraging! Sometimes I’m a chicken, and sometimes I speak up thinking this person will not want to hear about Jesus, only to have them tell me they are a believer too! Guilty of judging by outward appearances- but God never makes that mistake (1 Samuel 16:7).

A note to Sue- Tim Keller helped me with the man/woman references. A new believer from an honor/shame culture that exalted men got teary-eyed when she read verses (like Galatians 3:26) that spoke of believers as sons. She said that in God’s family, she has the same status as a son, and she was so thankful!

Know that my Heavenly Father loves me and valued me enough to send His Son for me! Galatians 3:28- only in Christ do we have this freedom!

Michael Scaman 3 months ago

Paul believed God is sovereign but in some sense " we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us"

But Paul still also says 'our coming to you was not in vain".

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