1 Thessalonians 2

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You know, by experience, that it was no accident that we came to you. But even though we were treated so badly in Philippi, we kept going and came to you because God gave us the courage to share the gospel with you, even though everything was going against us.

Three times Paul talks about the first day the Thessalonians met him. They must have seen bruises on the disciples and maybe even torn clothing, because of the way they were treated in Philippi.

3. Our message to you is true, we are not trying to hide anything or trick anybody.

Acts 17:5 Says that the Jews were jealous of Paul and turned the people against him.

4. God has trusted us to share his message and so we share his message not to tell men what they want to hear, but to please God, who tests our hearts.

Sometimes, as carefully as we can, we have to tell people some things that they do not want to hear.

To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22

We have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 2 Corinthians 4:2

5. Nobody can say we came to say fake words them or try to get something from them God himself is our witness!

We did not have some selfish reason for coming to you -and you know it!

One of the best parts of the ministry is that we get to be a blessing to people who can do nothing for us. Anyone who is in the ministry for what he can get is a false shepherd. Ezekiel 34:8

The Old Testament priest would stick a fork into the meat offering, and whatever he pulled out was for him. This is a picture of how God wants us to be content with whatever we get without digging deeper to try to get more. 1 Samuel 2:13 14

6. We were not looking for honor from men or from you or from anybody else. Even though, as the messengers of Christ, we might have used our authority.

So, true shepherds are not in the ministry for what they can get, but if they pass the test of a true shepherd, then there will be support for the ministry.

"God's work, done in God's way, will not lack for support." Hudson Taylor

Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? 1 Corinthians 9:7. See also Mark 6:7 13.

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But we were as gentle as a mother with a baby toward you. We loved you so much that we were happy to share with you not only the Gospel but even our own lives.

A true shepherd feels like a mother to his people. Shepherds, remember to let your children learn how to walk without you.

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Do not forget our hard work, we worked night and day, earning our own money so that we would not have to ask anybody for anything while we shared the gospel.

You and God are witnesses that we were blameless and open with you as believers. You know how we were encouraging and dealing with each one of you personally, like a father with his own children.

Not many people know about the work of a shepherd. He has to be ready to go whenever someone needs him. He needs to find time in the Word and alone with the Lord so that he will not be going in his own strength. He carries the burden of other people's problems and secrets that he is not allowed to talk about. Jewish Rabbis were not allowed to ask for money

12. We shared with you from our own lives how to live worthy of the God who is called you to share the glory of his kingdom.

Walking worthy means walking in a way that brings honor to what God has done for you.

13. We continue to thank God that when you heard the word of God, you took it as not a human message about for what it really is - God's word, which works its power in you. when you believe.

Something happens inside of us when we understand that the words we are hearing are actually the words of God speaking to us.

The missionary C.T. Studd tells a story about bringing the Gospel to the king and queen of an African tribe. The queen suddenly interrupted, turned to the King, and said, "I told you there had to be a God like this!"

14. You are sharing the experience of the Christians in Jerusalem who are suffering at the hands of the Jews because they are following Christ. They are being treated the same way the people of your country are treating you.

Paul is telling them, "We are all in this together.

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin. Hebrews 12:4

15. These Jews were behind the plot to kill the Lord Jesus, just as they did the Old Testament prophets. These are the same ones who chased us out of Philippi. God is not pleased with them and they have set themselves against all mankind.

If God has blinded someone, the only way we can work with God is to ask Him to remove the blindness.

Blindness, in part, has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Romans 11:25

16. They refused to let us share the gospel with the Gentiles. They are filling up the measure of their sins and the full wrath of God has come down on them.

People who do not want to listen to the Gospel bring trouble on their own lives.

There are several passages which show us that God is giving every chance for men to repent. When they reach a point where they have decided they will never turn back, God says their iniquity is full. Nobody will ever be able to say that.God did not give men enough chances. See also Genesis 15:16, Proverbs 13:15.

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Since we are separated from each other (but not in our hearts), we cannot wait to see you face-to-face. I have tried to come and see you more than once. But Satan stood against us. Who can take your place as our only hope and joy and crown? Who else but you will stand before him when he comes back? You are our glory and joy!

Take a look at these passages which describe how the enemy stands against our prayers: 1 Peter 3:7, Daniel 10:13.

Paul is saying, "My heart is still there with you. Do not feel bad if we do not get to see each other, because when we get to heaven you will be the crown which I will offer to the Lord!"