#DailyDevotion The Pastor Who Works Among You
1 Thess. 27But we were gentle when we were with you — and like a mother tenderly caring for her children. 8So we longed for you and were determined to share with you not only God’s good news but our own lives, so dear had you become to us. 9You remember, my fellow Christians, how hard we worked and struggled. Night and day working for our living, not to burden any of you, we preached God’s good news to you. 10You are witnesses and God, too, how holy, righteous, and blameless we proved to be to you who believe.
Paul continues his heartfelt letter to these believers he had brought to the LORD Jesus Christ on his missionary journey to Macedonia and Greece. These people must have very special to the apostle as he had birthed them into the faith through his preaching and teaching. Paul had been chased out of Philippi by unbelieving Jews. Later when the same Jews heard Paul was preaching in Thessalonica they stirred up trouble for him there as well. But Paul was not dissuaded by them and continued to feel for these people. Paul and company had longed for them and were not only determined to share God’s good news but their lives as well. Paul must have felt very comfortable with the Thessalonians to do this as I would guess most pastors while under a microscope often still do not share the intimate details of their lives with their parishioners. Perhaps they might be better off if they did, at least with some of them.
Paul calls them to remember how hard Paul and company worked and struggled to bring them the good news of Jesus Christ. Paul did not accept money for his preaching. As the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ and the grace of God was a free gift to Paul, Paul did not want the Gospel he preached to be tied to paying for it, perhaps as other itinerant Jewish rabbis were paid. Now for the pastors he trained to take care of the people he ordered that they earn their living from the Gospel. Paul would not be staying behind to till, cultivate, prune and the like of the gospel he preached during his missionary journey. Instead he worked night and day so as not to be a burden to the new congregation of believers. The gospel of Jesus Christ is always free. You cannot pay someone to preach and teach the good news of Jesus i.e. to forgive you your sins. Jesus paid that price with his precious blood and innocent suffering and death. But we do give God thanks for this free gift and show our thanks with our offerings which give the pastor a means to make a living praying, preaching and teaching the Word so he may be of some benefit to his parish.
Paul also appealed to them concerning the life he and his companions lived among the Thessalonians. They knew “how holy, righteous, and blameless we proved to be to you who believe.” As such they were an example to the Thessalonians as to how they should live also. Indeed, Paul and company are examples unto all of us who believe as to how we should live our lives out of thankfulness for all God’s benefits to us in Christ Jesus. We should all, in faith, be living examples of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount and of his humility in his suffering and death. For that is pleasing to God our Father.
Heavenly Father, grant us such faith in Jesus that we live humble and grateful lives in response to the great love, mercy and kindness you have showed us in Christ Jesus, your Son, our LORD, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.