1 Thessalonians, 2
1: For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: 2: But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. 3: For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: 4: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. 5: For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: 6: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. 7: But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8: So 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. 9: For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 10: Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: 11: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 12: That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
Paul reminds the Thessalonian believers that when he came to Thessalonica that his visit was not pointless or unfruitful. He says that even after suffering greatly in Philippi and being shamefully treated – being flogged, we were full of courage in God to preach fearlessly in the face of much opposition. And our preaching was not a trick, nor was it a vile sin, nor was it a trap to catch men. But, says Paul, as we were placed in trust of the preaching the gospel and so we spoke. We were not trying to please men but trying to please God. He is the one who knows every secret motive. We didn’t try to butter you up and we had no secret desire for anything from you – we call on God as our witness. Nor did we see admiration from you or anyone else. And we lived in such a way that we were no burden on you as Apostles of Christ. We were tender like a nursing mother to her children. And we were willing not only to preach the Gospel but to lay down our lives for you because you became dear to us. I’m sure you remember brothers our hard work and struggles because we worked day and night so that you were not obliged to support us while we preached the Gospel to you. You will testify to us as God does how that we lived holy, righteously and without any blame and how we behaved ourselves among you. You know, says Paul, how we encouraged, strengthened and gave you a solemn duty as a father does his children that you should live in a manner honourable to the God who has called you unto his kingdom and glory. This is a lesson to us all in how missionary work should be carried out and the motives and thinking of its servants.