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Paul’s Work in Thessalonica

My friends, you know that our time with you wasn’t wasted. As you remember, we had been mistreated and insulted at Philippi. But God gave us the courage to tell you the good news about him, even though many people caused us trouble. We didn’t have any hidden motives when we won you over, and we didn’t try to fool or trick anyone. God was pleased to trust us with his message. We didn’t speak to please people, but to please God who knows our motives.

You also know that we didn’t try to flatter anyone. God himself knows that what we did wasn’t a cover-up for greed. We were not trying to get you or anyone else to praise us. But as apostles, we could have demanded help from you. After all, Christ is the one who sent us. We chose to be like children or like a mother[a] nursing her baby. We cared so much for you, and you became so dear to us, that we were willing to give our lives for you when we gave you God’s message.

My dear friends, you surely haven’t forgotten our hard work and hardships. You remember how night and day we struggled to make a living, so that we could tell you God’s message without being a burden to anyone. 10 Both you and God are witnesses that we were pure and honest and innocent in our dealings with you followers of the Lord. 11 You also know we did everything for you that parents would do for their own children. 12 We begged, encouraged, and urged each of you to live in a way that would honor God. He is the one who chose you to share in his own kingdom and glory.

13 We always thank God that you believed the message we preached. It came from him, and it isn’t something made up by humans. You accepted it as God’s message, and now he is working in you. 14 My friends, you did just like God’s churches in Judea and like the other followers of Christ Jesus there. And so, you were mistreated by your own people, in the same way they were mistreated by their people.

15 Those Jews killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and they even chased us away. God doesn’t like what they do and neither does anyone else. 16 They keep us from speaking his message to the Gentiles and from leading them to be saved. The Jews have always gone too far with their sins. Now God has finally become angry and will punish them.

Paul Wants To Visit the Church Again

17 My friends, we were kept from coming to you for a while, but we never stopped thinking about you. We were eager to see you and tried our best to visit you in person. 18 We really wanted to come. I myself tried several times, but Satan always stopped us. 19 After all, when the Lord Jesus appears, who else but you will give us hope and joy and be like a glorious crown for us? 20 You alone are our glory and joy!

Footnotes

  1. 2.7 like children or like a mother: Some manuscripts have “as gentle as a mother.”

Paul’s Ministry in Thessalonica

You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you(A) was not without results.(B) We had previously suffered(C) and been treated outrageously in Philippi,(D) as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.(E) For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives,(F) nor are we trying to trick you.(G) On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel.(H) We are not trying to please people(I) but God, who tests our hearts.(J) You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed(K)—God is our witness.(L) We were not looking for praise from people,(M) not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles(N) of Christ we could have asserted our authority.(O) Instead, we were like young children[a] among you.

Just as a nursing mother cares for her children,(P) so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God(Q) but our lives as well.(R) Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked(S) night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone(T) while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses,(U) and so is God,(V) of how holy,(W) 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,(X) 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy(Y) of God, who calls(Z) you into his kingdom and glory.

13 And we also thank God continually(AA) because, when you received the word of God,(AB) which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators(AC) of God’s churches in Judea,(AD) which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people(AE) the same things those churches suffered from the Jews 15 who killed the Lord Jesus(AF) and the prophets(AG) and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles(AH) so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit.(AI) The wrath of God has come upon them at last.[b]

Paul’s Longing to See the Thessalonians

17 But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought),(AJ) out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.(AK) 18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan(AL) blocked our way.(AM) 19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown(AN) in which we will glory(AO) in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?(AP) Is it not you? 20 Indeed, you are our glory(AQ) and joy.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Thessalonians 2:7 Some manuscripts were gentle
  2. 1 Thessalonians 2:16 Or them fully

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