Thursday, October 29, 2015

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
But rather we became infants in your midst, as a nursing mother should cherish her children.  In this same way, while having a yearning love for you all we were pleased to enjoy with you not only the good news of God but also our own very own souls because you all became beloved to us.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

I think that I am going to take this passage in reverse order.  If we look at the end of this passage, we hear about the fact that the Thessalonians became beloved to Paul and his associates.  I believe it is important to understand this point.  Everything that Paul says is rooted in his love.  Paul often gets blamed for being too academic, too uncompassionate, or too rigid.  But that is not what Paul himself really believes.  Paul is rooted in love.  Paul does what he does because he cares about them and their relationship with God.  Paul understands the value of true spiritual love.

Do you love?  How do you put this love on display?  Has your love for others ever been misconstrued for something less?

Second Thought:

Having rediscovered love, we turn to the middle of the passage.  Because of love, Paul and his associates were pleased to share themselves and the good news of Jesus Christ with the Thessalonians.  They were willing to pour themselves out for the sake of the people.  They gave all of themselves, not just information.  Paul and his associates didn’t just educate the Thessalonians in the Gospel, they gave a model to the Thessalonians to imitate.  They lived among them.  They ate with them.  They were no doubt worn down with their questions.  They gave all that they had for the sake of the spiritual growth of these Thessalonians.

When have you given your all for another person?  What was the reason that you gave your all?

Third Thought:

Finally, we come back to where Paul begins.  He was gentle among the Thessalonians.  Yes, he was superior to them.  Yes, he could have demanded much from them.  He certainly could have belittled them and made them feel small.  But he was gentle among them.  He nurtured them rather than beat them into submission.  In this we truly see why it was important to start in the first thought in the concept of love.

Can you be gentle if you do not love?  Why does love have such a great impact upon our ability to act the way that God would have us act in the world around us?

Passage for Tomorrow: 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12
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