Paul’s Work in Thessalonica
1Brothers and sisters, you know our visit to you was not a failure. 2Before we came to you, we suffered in Philippi. People there insulted us, as you know, and many people were against us. But our God helped us to be brave and to tell you his Good News. 3Our appeal does not come from lies or wrong reasons, nor were we trying to trick you. 4But we speak the Good News because God tested us and trusted us to do it. When we speak, we are not trying to please people, but God, who tests our hearts. 5You know that we never tried to influence you by saying nice things about you. We were not trying to get your money; we had no selfishness to hide from you. God knows that this is true. 6We were not looking for human praise, from you or anyone else, 7even though as apostles of Christ we could have used our authority over you.
But we were very gentle with you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8Because we loved you, we were happy to share not only God’s Good News with you, but even our own lives. You had become so dear to us! 9Brothers and sisters, I know you remember our hard work and difficulties. We worked night and day so we would not burden any of you while we preached God’s Good News to you.
10When we were with you, we lived in a holy and honest way, without fault. You know this is true, and so does God. 11You know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. 12We encouraged you, we urged you, and we insisted that you live good lives for God, who calls you to his glorious kingdom.
13Also, we always thank God because when you heard his message from us, you accepted it as the word of God, not the words of humans. And it really is God’s message which works in you who believe. 14Brothers and sisters, your experiences have been like those of God’s churches in Christ that are in Judea. You suffered from the people of your own country, as they suffered from the Jews 15who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and forced us to leave that country. They do not please God and are against all people. 16They try to stop us from teaching those who are not Jews so they may be saved. By doing this, they are increasing their sins to the limit. The anger of God has come to them at last.
Paul Wants to Visit Them Again
17Brothers and sisters, though we were separated from you for a short time, our thoughts were still with you. We wanted very much to see you and tried hard to do so. 18We wanted to come to you. I, Paul, tried to come more than once, but Satan stopped us. 19You are our hope, our joy, and the crown we will take pride in when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. 20Truly you are our glory and our joy.
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