Living out the message
As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but instead we were like children among you. Or we were like a mother feeding and caring for her own children. We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too. 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 NLT
Paul, Silas, and Timothy were moved by their deep love for the people of Thessalonica that despite the difficulties, they went to share the message of the gospel and treated the people with gentleness. Not only that they proclaimed the gospel but they also have shared their lives. Because of their actions and consistent living, they made a positive impact in the lives of the Thessalonians. Their testimony facilitated the response of the people to surrender their lives to Christ. Their commitment to Christ was visible in the way they treated the Thessalonians. If we are to share God’s message of salvation, we have to live consistent with the gospel. Our talents and abilities could provide us valuable resources that we can use so we can be effective in sharing the gospel to others. We cannot be hypocrites, proclaiming the love of God and live as if we have not been saved. Our consistent living could strengthen the message we proclaim. Paul and his companions treated the new believers in Thessalonica “like a mother feeding and caring for her own children.” They recognized that they were not grown up yet in their faith and had to be shown patience helping them grow in their faith. Their commitment to the new believer’s best interests can be seen in the way Paul expressed his feelings: “We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). In this way, Paul is not just helping the believers grow in their faith but he and his companions were providing an example of what faithful living looks like. Sharing the message of the gospel is not only done by telling others about it but also providing a testimony consistent with the message we proclaim. “Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).