1 Thessalonians 2:8-12

1 Thessalonians 2:4‑12  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 12
8So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. 9For ye remember, brethren, our labor and travail: for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 10Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: 11As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 12That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. (1 Thessalonians 2:8‑12)The apostle lays bare in this scripture his inmost heart in regard to his work in preaching the gospel, and exposes all his motives both before God and man. Living and laboring in the light he had nothing to conceal, and, led of the Holy Spirit, he speaks thus of himself in order that all who serve in the ministry of the Word may profit by, his example. He goes at once to the root of the matter in pointing out that he had been "allowed [approved] of God to be put in trust with the gospel." (v. 4) Recognizing this, he adds-would that all who claim to be sent of God could use the language-" Even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth [or proves] our hearts." The faces of men are before the preacher, and every servant has known the temptation of seeking to please his audience: the antidote to the snare lies then in the remembrance of the source of the service, and of the consequent responsibility of pleasing Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (2 Tim. 2) Then he will be enabled to speak as from God, in the sight of God, in Christ (2 Cor. 2:1717For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:17)); for man will disappear, and God alone will be before his soul. It was so with Paul, and he could therefore affirm that he had not at any time used (1) flattering words (and he appeals to those to whom he was writing in confirmation of the fact), nor (2) " a cloak of [or with a pretext for] covetousness" (and of this God was witness), nor (3), though an apostle, and he might have pressed his official claims, had he sought glory of men, neither of them nor of others. He had no desires whatever for himself in his work. On the other hand, he was (1) gentle among them " as a nurse cherisheth her children " (v. 7); then (2), so large was his heart for them that he was willing to have imparted to them, not the gospel of God only, but also his own life, because they were beloved of him. Moreover, he reminds them that he labored night and day that he might not be chargeable to them in his work, and he appeals both to them and God, as witnesses of his manner of life, " how holily and justly and unblameably" he had behaved himself amongst those that believe. Lastly, he had " exhorted, and comforted, and charged" every one of them, "as a father doth his children," that they might walk worthy of God, who had called them unto His kingdom and glory. (vv. 11, 12)
What a picture of a faithful, unselfish, devoted, and loving servant! And how it rebukes many of us as we gaze upon it!