1 Thessalonians 21 Yes, friends, you yourselves know that your reception of us was not without result. 2 For, although we had experienced suffering and ill treatment, as you know, at Philippi, we had the courage, by the help of our God, to tell you God’s good news in spite of great opposition. 3 Our appeal to you was not based on a delusion, nor was it made from unworthy motives, or with any intention of misleading you. 4 But, having been found worthy by God to be entrusted with the good news, therefore we tell it; with a view to please, not people, but God who proves our hearts. 5 Never at any time, as you know, did we use the language of flattery, or make false professions in order to hide selfish aims. God will bear witness to that. 6 Nor did we seek to win honor from people, whether from you or from others, although, as apostles of Christ, we might have burdened you with our support. 7 But we lived among you with the simplicity of a child; we were like a woman nursing her own children. 8 In our strong affection for you, that seemed to us the best way of sharing with you, not only God’s Good news, but our lives as well — so dear had you become to us. 9 You will not have forgotten, friends, our labor and toil. Night and day we used to work at our trades, so as not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you God’s good news. 10 You will bear witness, and God also, that our relations with you who believed in Christ were pure, and upright, and beyond reproach. 11 Indeed, you know that, like a father with his own children, we used to encourage and comfort every one of you, and solemnly plead with you; 12 so that you should make your daily lives worthy of God who is calling you into the glory of his kingdom. 13 This, too, is a reason why we, on our part, are continually thanking God — because, in receiving the teaching that you had from us, you accepted it, not as the teaching of humans, but as what it really is — the teaching of God, which is even now doing its work within you who believe in Christ. 14 For you, friends, began to follow the example of the churches of God in Judea which are in union with Jesus Christ; you, in your turn, suffering at the hands of your fellow citizens, in the same way as those churches did at the hands of of their people — 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and persecuted us also. They do not try to please God, and they are enemies to all humanity, 16 for they try to prevent us from speaking to the Gentiles with a view to their salvation, and so are always ‘filling up the measure of their iniquity.’ But the wrath of God has come upon them to the full! 17 As for ourselves, friends, our having been bereaved of you even for a short time — though in body only, and not in spirit — made us all the more eager to see your faces again; and the longing to do so was strong on us. 18 That was why we made up our minds to go and see you — at least I, Paul, did, more than once — but Satan put difficulties in our way. 19 For what hope or joy will be ours, or what crown will we have to boast of, in the presence of our Lord Jesus, at his coming, if it be not you? You are our pride and our delight!
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