Paul's work in Thessalonica
1My friends, you know that our time with you wasn't wasted. 2As you remember, we had been ill-treated 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.#Ac 16.19-24; Ac 17.1-9. 3We didn't have any hidden motives when we won you over, and we didn't try to fool or trick anyone. 4God was pleased to trust us with his message. We didn't speak to please people, but to please God who knows our motives.
5You also know that we didn't try to flatter anyone. God himself knows that what we did wasn't a cover-up for greed. 6We were not trying to get you or anyone else to praise us. 7But 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#2.7 like children or like a mother: Some manuscripts have “as gentle as a mother”. nursing her baby. 8We 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.
9My dear friends, you 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. 10Both you and God are witnesses that we were pure and honest and innocent in our dealings with you followers of the Lord. 11You also know we did everything for you that parents would do for their own children. 12We begged, encouraged, and urged each of you to live in a way that would honour God. He is the one who chose you to share in his own kingdom and glory.
13We 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. 14My friends, you did just like God's churches in Judea and like the other followers of Christ Jesus there. And so, you were ill-treated by your own people, in the same way they were ill-treated by their people.#Ac 17.5.
15Those 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.#Ac 9.23,29; 13.45,50; 14.2,5,19; 17.5,13; 18.12. 16They 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
17My 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. 18We really wanted to come. I myself tried several times, but Satan always stopped us. 19After all, when the Lord Jesus appears, who else but you will give us hope and joy and be like a glorious crown for us? 20You alone are our glory and joy!