Spend time in prayer and silence with God, asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.
For you yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our visit with you was not without result. On the contrary, after we had previously suffered and were treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition. For our exhortation didn’t come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive. Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please people, but rather God, who examines our hearts. For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy motives—God is our witness—and we didn’t seek glory from people, either from you are from others. Although we could have been a burden as Christ’s apostles, instead we were gentle among you, as a mother nurtures her own children. We cared so much for you that we were pleased to not only share with you the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
– 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
It is evident that some of the Jews in Thessalonica had been discounting the apostle in his absence. He very definitely defends himself against their false claims. In fact, the Thessalonians’ “work produced by faith” was the credential of Paul’s spiritual authority. These detractors were busy attempting to undervalue his work, and to cast aspersions on his character, his honesty, and his tenderness. Paul reminds them how he not only preached to them the gospel, but he also shared in their lives and cared for them as a nursing mother cares for her child. This is a crucial component in Paul’s discipleship process. He knew that in order for the gospel to have full effect on its hearers, he must live among them and model what it means to be a disciple before them.
The Big Question
Are you intimately engaged in Christian community? Is their someone in your life modeling what it means to be a disciple of Jesus? Are you modeling what it means to be a disciple to someone else? Who are your 2am friends?
Conclude your time in prayer and silence, reflecting on what God revealed to you today.