Cherishing Spiritual Children
1For you yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not in vain.
2On the contrary, after we had first suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to tell you the Good News of God—even in the midst of much opposition.
3For our urging is not out of deceit or impure motives or trickery.
4But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News, so we declare it—not pleasing men but rather God, who examines our hearts.
5For as you know and God is witness, we never came with a word of flattery or a motive of greed—
6or seeking glory from people, whether from you or from others,
7even though we could have thrown our weight around as emissaries of Messiah. Rather, we proved to be infants among you. Like a nursing mother cherishes her children,
8in this way we were yearning for you. We were delighted to share with you not only the Good News of God but also our very souls, because you had become dear to us.
9For you recall, brothers and sisters, our labor and hardship—working night and day, so as not to burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the Good News of God.
10You are witnesses, along with God, of how devoutly and righteously and blamelessly we behaved toward you who believe.
11For you know how, as a father with his own children,
12we exhorted and encouraged and urged each one of you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
13For this reason, we also thank God constantly that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it truly is—the word of God, which does its work in you who believe.
14For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s communities in Messiah Yeshua that are in Judea—for you suffered the same things at the hands of your own countrymen as they did from the Judean leaders,
15who killed both the Lord Yeshua and the prophets and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God and hostile to all people,
16hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they might be saved. As a result, they constantly fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last.
Longing to Visit and Reassure
17But brothers and sisters, after we were orphaned by separation from you for a short time (in person, not in heart), we were all the more eager in our great longing to see you face to face.
18For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—but satan thwarted us.
19For who is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Yeshua at His coming? Is it not you?
20For you are our glory and joy!