(1 Thessalonians 2:9-13) – The costs and joys of discipleship.
Paul continues some of his personal thoughts about the Thessalonians, today focusing on what his work in their lives looked like and how they responded to that work.
Paul obviously worked really hard for the Lord, something that was made clear back in 1 Corinthians 15 by Paul’s own admission.
But his words weren’t the only thing that attested to this reality, his life spoke volumes about his commitment to the Lord.
His “night and day” work displays an element of tenacity in his pace when it came to serving the Lord. He knew he didn’t have a lot of time and wanted to maximize the time that he had.
It was like he was on a constant mission trip.
I’m sure that Paul rested when it was appropriate, but it’s apparent that Paul saw his life less as a vacation and more as a mission.
He dedicated himself to the primary mission of exemplifying Christ in all that he did, taking it upon himself to shepherd these people towards maturity in the faith.
Choosing this type of lifestyle does cost you. It forces you to be others-centered and give more than you receive.
Good thing Jesus said it’s better to do that anyway.
Paul recognized that this outpouring of ministry would mean nothing if not for the work of the Holy Spirit fueling it.
That is why it’s imperative to give credit to whom credit is due. He thanks God for what was taking place.
If you’re in discipleship ministry and lack a thankful heart, you won’t last long. Look for God’s blessings, let them keep you going.
Love your people relentlessly and give all you can to see them know and love Jesus the way we ALL should.
Let’s get to work!