Share Your SelfSeries: What Will Your Legacy Be?
The story of how Paul came to Thessalonica is an amazing story of dedication and faith, perseverance and strength, and trust in God. His work there wasn’t in vain either. They received the word of God with joy and much affliction and turned from idols to serve the living God, 1 Thessalonians 1.6, 9. As we move into chapter 2, we observe Paul’s motives: being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share not only the gospel of God, but also of our own selves, because you had become very dear to us, 2.8. See the genuineness, authenticity, and integrity.
The Character of Paul’s Ministry
- Paul is answering his critics who were attacking his character.
- 1.4-5: you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sakes.
- Chapter 2: six times Paul uses the same reasoning: “you know,” “you remember,” “you are witness.” (2.1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 11) What did they know? Remember? Witness?
- A living example of the gospel. Look at 2.1: our coming to you was not in vain.
How Paul Did It
- 2.2 - He took a risk. Shared himself and the gospel in the midst of much conflict.
- 2.3 - He demonstrated total integrity and purity.
- 2.4 - His highest calling was to please God. See also 2.6: nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.
- 2.5 - He avoided flattery.
- 2.6-8 - He opened his heart. Made himself vulnerable.
- 2.10 - He was holy, righteous, and blameless among them.
- 2.11-12 - Paul approached them as a father would.
What This Means for Us
- What legacy will you leave with the way you gave? See 1 Thessalonians 2.8.
- We do the same by:
- Romans 12.15 - Do you truly know what it means to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep?
- Hebrews 10.24 - Are you stirring up one another to love and good works?
- 1 Thessalonians 5.14 - Are you admonishing, encouraging, and helping others?
We All Have Something to Give
- This really comes down to a matter of faith.
- You have Christ, the Spirit, the Word of God, gifts & talents, and are a new creation.
- John 4.14 - whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
- This is who you are. You are a spring. You are a fountain.
- John 7.38 - Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
- God has recreated you not only for the purpose of receiving what you need from others … but for the purpose of sharing your life with others.
- Will you share what God has given you with others?
- What will your legacy say about you when tomorrow begins without you?
- What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.