For you yourselves know, brothers, 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. 1 Thessalonians 2:1-2 ESV
Paul’s ministry was full of conflict. He lived a life full of suffering, danger, and uncertainty. However, despite all these tribulations, he still boldly declared the gospel to the Thessalonians. He wrote 1 Thessalonians as a letter of encouragement and he himself was encouraged by their open embracement of the gospel.
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. 1 Thessalonians 2:9 ESV
Even in the position of apostle, Paul and those who came with him had a humble attitude and refused to take advantage of the people of Thessalonica, opting to work instead. This work ethic helped them remain righteous in their actions towards the Thessalonians. Paul provides one great example of living like Christ by coming to serve and not be served. Instead of expecting the Thessalonians to care and serve him, he instead cared for himself while serving them by preaching the gospel.
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. 1 Thessalonians 2:12 ESV
Paul provides an example of how I should act towards other believers. Everyone needs exhortation and encouragement. One of the reasons for the Church is so believers and can build each other up and encourage one another through the gospel. One way I can also encourage people to walk in a manner worthy of God by following His commands. Paul worked to show the Thessalonians he was not just talking a big talk but living the gospel by serving others. Maintaining a servant’s heart is crucial to caring for others in Christ.
Dear God, Thank you for Your church and the encouragement and exhortation I can receive from other believers. Please help me to serve wholeheartedly like Paul and to be an encouragement to others in Christ. In Your Holy Name, Amen.