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Paul and the church at Thessalonica

1YOU KNOW for yourselves, my friends, that our visit to you was not fruitless.

2Far from it! After all the injury and outrage which as you know we had suffered at Philippi, by the help of our God we declared the gospel of God to you frankly and fearlessly in face of great opposition.

3The appeal we make does not spring from delusion or sordid motive or from any attempt to deceive;

4but God has approved us as fit to be entrusted with the gospel. So when we preach, we do not curry favour with men; we seek only the favour of God, who is continually testing our hearts.

5We have never resorted to flattery, as you have cause to know; nor, as God is our witness, have our words ever been a cloak for greed.

6We have never sought honour from men, not from you or from anyone else,

7although as Christ's own envoys we might have made our weight felt; but we were as gentle with you as a nurse caring for her children.

8Our affection was so deep that we were determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but our very selves; that is how dear you had become to us!

9You remember, my friends, our toil and drudgery; night and day we worked for a living, rather than be a burden to any of you while we proclaimed to you the good news of God.

10We call you to witness, yes and God himself, how devout and just and blameless was our conduct towards you who are believers.

11As you well know, we dealt with each one of you as a father deals with his children;

12we appealed to you, we encouraged you, we urged you, to live lives worthy of the God who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

13We have reason to thank God continually because, when we handed on God's message, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but as what it truly is, the very word of God at work in you who are believers.

14You, my friends, have followed the example of the Christians in the churches of God in Judaea: you have been treated by your own countrymen as they were treated by the Jews,

15who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out, and are so heedless of God's will and such enemies of their fellow-men

16that they hinder us from telling the Gentiles how they may be saved. All this time they have been making up the full measure of their guilt. But now retribution has overtaken them for good and all!

17MY friends, when for a short spell you were lost to us -- out of sight but not out of mind -- we were exceedingly anxious to see you again.

18So we made up our minds to visit you -- I, Paul, more than once -- but Satan thwarted us.

19For what hope or joy or triumphal crown is there for us when we stand before our Lord Jesus at his coming? What indeed but you?

20You are our glory and our joy.

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