A photo by Jakub Sejkora. unsplash.com/photos/utqJcneoFjo

Proof of Purity in Ministry Motivation – 1 Thess 2:1-12

Jan 30, 2020 By: David Meyer Topic: Sermon Devotional Series: 1 Thessalonians Scripture: 1 Thess 2:1-12

As we continue our study of this very practical letter of 1 Thessalonians, we turn to chapter 2 verses 1-12. In these verses we see a theme repeated over and over again six times. Did you catch it?  (v.1) For you yourselves know; (v.2) As you know; (v.5) As you know; (v.9) For you remember; (v.10) You are witnesses; (v.11) For you know. What is it that the Thessalonians knew? The church in Thessalonica knew that Paul, Silas and Timothy were the “real deal” as they declared the gospel among them. But why did Paul have to repeat six times what they already knew? As we have seen in our study through chapter 1, Paul and his team had great opposition in the region and were slandered by their enemies. Their antagonists could not discredit their message, so they sought to discredit the messenger’s motivations and methods. The enemies of the gospel were having some success in convincing some of the Thessalonians that their motives were not pure. Paul’s opponents wanted to plant doubt and suspicion in the Thessalonian Christians that Paul may be in it for the money, or has an agenda of self-promotion or had lewd intentions.  It appears that these enemies were “dirtying-up” Paul, Silas and Timothy with these types of accusations. Paul took those accusations head on in this letter and was able to call upon God as a witness against these false charges (v.5). Paul also called upon the Thessalonians to bear witness to the truth of their message, their pure motivations and their honorable methods. These ministers of the gospel were above board in every way. In reading verse 3, we can see the proper message, motivation and method. In contrast, a false teacher is the exact flipside of Paul (message: in error, motivation: impure, methods: deceitful). Paul leaves no doubt about his ministry motivations. Paul says this church became imitators of them (v.6, v.14) in their whole-hearted, sincere ministry motivations. What are your motivations to serve and love others in your life? Have you ever thought about the connection between the message your life proclaims and your motivations?  Is there synergy between your message, your motivations and your methods? Do you have integrity (unity) in your life at home, work, school, and in the community? Our motivations speak to the “WHY” of our lives. How does alignment between our WHAT, our WHY and our HOW bring powerful testimony and credibility to the gospel message that we have been entrusted to proclaim?