Saturday in the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time

1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Sincerity of Heart in a Godly Minister

Now Paul begins a brief narrative reminding the Thessalonian believers of the way Paul and his companions conducted themselves while they were with them.  We may assume that since Paul’s departure, both Jews and Gentiles were slandering him before the believers calling him a “fly by night” charlatan who came to swindle them with flattering words for the purpose of extorting money from them.  Why else would he have left them so soon after arriving?  Well, he left because he was run off; the Thessalonians knew this (Acts 17:1-9).  But the passage does us the favor of informing us how ministers are to behave towards their charges when handling the gospel.  So let us turn our thoughts towards this.

They had arrived in Thessalonica from Philippi where they had been “shamefully treated” with false accusations, beatings, and imprisonment (Acts 16:11-40).  One might think they would have arrived with their tails between their legs and licking their wounds.  No. They came to Thessalonica intent on preaching the same message of saving grace which they were beaten for in Philippi.  And this is a sign of their integrity: A charlatan would change his message based upon its reception, but not an apostle of Jesus Christ.  The gospel always remains gospel, and it is the gospel with which the preacher has been entrusted and which he must always preach—it is not for him to change based upon its reception of rejection.  There will be times of harvest and times where there will be no harvest; he is not held accountable for that.  The preacher is held accountable for his fidelity to preaching the message in all its fullness and pristine purity.

Then there is the preacher’s purpose for preaching.  The proclamation of the gospel can never be a pretext for greed, a disease with which some men have ever plagued the Church.  It can never be a means of winning glory, flattery, or fame.  The Church will always be blessed with men who are gifted speakers.  Wonderful!  Let them be noble as well. 

Then there is the preacher’s manner with people: Gentle, like a nursing mother caring for her children.  A preacher must call out sin, but he mustn’t be contemptuous about it.  He must be patient with people.  The Spirit works in people in manifold ways, and we are all slow to hear, dull of mind, and heavy of heart.  And while he exhorts them to “walk in a manner worthy of God,” he must do the same, showing diligence in all his labor, walking before them in holiness, righteousness, and blamelessness before his God.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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