1弟兄們，你們自己原曉得我們進到你們那裏並不是徒然的。2我們從前在腓立比被害受辱，這是你們知道的；然而還是靠我們的 神放開膽量，在大爭戰中把 神的福音傳給你們。3我們的勸勉不是出於錯誤，不是出於污穢，也不是用詭詐。4但 神既然驗中了我們，把福音託付我們，我們就照樣講，不是要討人喜歡，乃是要討那察驗我們心的 神喜歡。5因為我們從來沒有用過諂媚的話，這是你們知道的；也沒有藏著貪心，這是 神可以作見證的。6我們作基督的使徒，雖然可以叫人尊重，卻沒有向你們或向別人求榮耀；7只在你們中間存心溫柔，如同母親乳養自己的孩子。8我們既是這樣愛你們，不但願意將 神的福音給你們，連自己的性命也願意給你們，因你們是我們所疼愛的。9弟兄們，你們記念我們的辛苦勞碌，晝夜做工，傳 神的福音給你們，免得叫你們一人受累。10們向你們信主的人，是何等聖潔、公義、無可指摘，有你們作見證，也有 神作見證。11你們也曉得，我們怎樣勸勉你們，安慰你們，囑咐你們各人，好像父親待自己的兒女一樣，12要叫你們行事對得起那召你們進他國、得他榮耀的 神。
I Thessalonians 2:1-12
1. You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. 2. We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. 3. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. 5. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6. We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, 7. but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 9. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12. encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
- Paul’s proclamation of the gospel was not to win the approval of the Thessalonians, but to please God who knows our hearts and our motivations. Similarly, our Lord has entrusted us this good news, what is our attitude towards spreading this good news? When we share the good news, what are we more concerned about: the way that people might respond or what God’s purposes are?
- Pray that God would help me grasp the true meaning of the gospel and to grant me the desire “not trying to please men but God”.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Do you like to share Jesus with your friends? What did you tell her/him? Have you invited any of your friends to church? How did you do that? Each person prays for one of his/her friends and for the opportunity to share the gospel with him/her as well as to invite him/her to church. Write the names on your Family Devotional Journal.