SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Paul reminds the Thessalonians how he lived when he was with them. It seems that someone must have been questioning Paul's motives, perhaps claiming that he was only after money. Paul reminds them of his actions and asserts his innocents.
- Apparently (see verse 14) the Thessalonians were persecuted for putting their faith in Jesus.
- In verse 20 Paul says, “You are our glory, and joy.” Paul is expressing the goal of his preaching. He doesn’t want material things but rather for people to have a genuine relationship with Jesus that saves them from their sin. This is what got him up in the morning and allowed him to persevere despite suffering. The Thessalonians' faith was the fruit of Paul’s labor, and it gave him great joy.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Paul says he lived in a way that was "holy, righteous and blameless" (verse 10), and therefore his motives couldn't be questioned. We, too, need to live pure lives with pure motives so that we are above reproach.
- The Thessalonians realized how great a treasure Jesus is. They were filled with joy in having him, even when being persecuted for having him. We also should have joy no matter what happens because we have found the treasure that changes everything.
- Paul's driving motivation was to see other people come to faith in Jesus. Seeing other people come to know and follow Jesus should get us up in the morning and be the primary purpose we live for each day.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- What needs to change about your life so you could honestly say you are "holy, righteous and blameless"? Ask God to help you make those changes, because you want to live completely for him.
- What would help you to be more passionate about seeing other people come to Jesus? Part of it is actually doing it, so who could you talk to this week about your faith, or who could you invite to church for this Sunday or Monday?