Paul’s Example (Part 2)
1 Thess. 2:7-12
I will continue my message about the example of Paul and his fellow servants of the Lord on how
they live and how they care for the Thessalonian believers.
I. Paul and his companions were gentle (1 Thess. 2:7-8)
A. Paul and his companions cared for their converts as a nursing mother gently cares
for her little children.
B. They used only the most kind and gentle methods to win the Thessalonians to Christ.
C. Being affectionately desirous of you – They love the Thessalonians so much that they
were not only willing and forward to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to
them, but also to give their own lives for their sake.
1. Paul was a preacher who loved his brethren – Phil. 1:8
2. For which he joyfully sacrificed his life as necessary. Ph. 2:17
D. Let gentleness and love for the brethren be seen both in our preaching and in our
Illustration1: Why Moses Called by God
The following beautiful tradition about Moses is handed down to posterity: He led the flock of his
father-in-law (cf. Exodus 3:1).
One day while he was contemplating his flock in the desert, he saw a lamb leave the herd, and run
further and further away. The tender shepherd not only followed it with his eyes, but went after it.
The lamb quickened his step, hopped over hill, sprang over ditches, hastening through valley and
plain; the shepherd unweariedly followed its track.
At last the lamb stopped by a spring at which it eagerly quenched its thirst. Moses hastened to the
spot, looked sadly at the drinking lamb, and said:
“It was thirst, then, my poor beast, which tormented thee, and drove thee from me, and I didn’t
understand; now thou are faint and weary from the long, hard way, thy powers are exhausted; how
then couldst thou return to thy comrades?”
After the lamb had quenched his thirst and seemed undecided what course to take Moses lifted it to
his shoulder, and, bending under the heavy burden, strode back to the flock. Then he heard the
voice of God calling to him, saying:
“Thou hast a tender heart for my creatures, thou are a kind, gentle shepherd to the flocks of man—
thou art now called to feed the flocks of God.” —Jewish Messenger
Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
II. His Labors (1 Thess. 2:9)
A. “Laboring night and day”. It would seem from this passage that Paul labored with his
hands to support himself in Thessalonica.
B. Paul chose to preach the gospel without charge as a way of demonstrating his
willingness to accept his calling as the Apostle to the Gentiles.
C. Paul often worked as a tent maker while preaching. (Acts 18:1-4).
D. The word “travail” means wearisome or tiresome labors.
E. His example shows us the sacrificial nature of serving the Lord.
1. Some may serve the Lord as preacher and still work or practice their profession
at the same time.
2. Some can serve full time, and depend from his flock for support. There is
nothing wrong with this. (1 Cor. 9:7-14)
3. In my honest opinion, whether you are in full time ministry or not, you must be
available serve day or night as Paul. (Acts 20:31).
F. Pastoring a church is no easy job. Probably it’s the hardest job in the world but it’s
the most rewarding and the return is beyond our imagination when we meet Christ.
Illustration 2: Service Is…
“Whatever is done for God, without respect of its comparative character as related to other acts, is
service, and only that is service. Service is, comprehensively speaking, doing the will of God. He is the object. All is for Him, for His sake, as unto the Lord, not as unto man. Hence, even the humblest act of humblest disciple acquires a certain divine quality by its being done with reference to Him. “The supreme test of service is this: ‘For whom am I doing this?’ Much that we call service to Christ is not such at all….If we are doing this for Christ, we shall not care for human reward or even recognition.
Our work must again be tested by three propositions: Is it work from God, as given us to do from
Him; for God, as finding in Him its secret of power; and with God, as only a part of His work in which we engage as co-workers with Him.” The Truth
III. He was holily and justly and unblameably we behaved (1 Thess. 2:10)
A. The Thessalonians are the witnesses to their behavior and God also
1. Holily, carrying the idea “Piously; with sanctity… sacredly; without breach.” They
lived their lives in a manner pleasing to God.
2. Justly, which means in conformity to law. They lived their lives in accordance
with what was right. Justly carries the idea of being real, genuine and true. They
clearly understood God’s commands and lived their lives accordingly.
3. Paul uses the word unblameably. This word carries the idea that no one could
sustain a charge against them. They could make the charge, but it couldn’t be
supported—it couldn’t be proven.
B. Paul used these three words and said that this is how we behaved ourselves among
you. It is important for us to understand here that Paul, in using the word we twice,
is not only referring to himself, but to his whole team. There is a high standard for all
who are involved in the ministry. These standards extend beyond the pastor, to his
whole staff. This is a Bible requirement. And herein do I exercise myself, to have
always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. (Acts 24:16) How
we live is more important than what we say. If our lives do not back up what we say,
our message will be ineffective. What we say must match how we live. Consistency
in living the Christian life brings credibility to ministry. If you are involved in the
ministry in any way—behave like it or get out of it.
Illustration 3: A Character Profession
Ministry is a character profession. To put it bluntly, you can sleep around and still be a good brain
surgeon. You can cheat on your mate and have little trouble continuing to practice law. Apparently,
it is no problem to stay in politics and plagiarize. You can be a successful salesperson and cheat on
your income tax. But you cannot do those things as a Christian or as a minister and continue
enjoying the Lord’s blessing. You must do right in order to have true integrity. If you can’t come to
terms with evil or break habits that continue to bring reproach to the name of Christ, please, do the
Lord (and us in ministry) a favor and resign.
Chuck Swindoll, Rise and Shine, p. 198
IV. As a father to his children (1 Thess. 2:11-12)
A. Having likened the conduct of Paul and his companions to the loving, unselfish care
of a nursing mother (v. 7), Paul also compared their behavior to that of a father.
Here the implication is that they trained and instructed the Thessalonians as a
responsible father disciplines his children. The word tekna , translated children,
emphasizes the believers’ immaturity as well as the apostles’ affection. This verse is
the fourth time Paul wrote “ye know” (1 Thess. 1:5; 2:2,5).
B. The training provided included strong positive appeals (encouraging, parakalountes),
soothing encouragement (comforting, paramythoumenoi), designed to cheer up
and to inspire correct behavior, and solemn, earnest entreaty (urging,
martyromenoi). Such a combination of appeals proved effective in moving the
Thessalonians to action by the Holy Spirit’s convicting power.
C. The appeal to lead lives worthy of God is the highest of all for those who have
tasted God’s grace in salvation. Paul heightened his exhortation by reminding his
readers that they had been specially called by God, called to enter and be partakers
in His kingdom and called to glorify and share in God’s glory.
Paul and his companions cared for the Thessalonian with fatherly love and motherly
gentleness and affection. The example they have shown should be our model in caring
for the people entrusted to us by the Lord. Would you do it also?