1 Thess 2:7-12 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 9For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11For you know how, like a father with his children, 12we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
Paul was very clear that he wanted us to imitate him. What does that look like? 1 Thessalonians 2 gives us a blueprint for how that is supposed to work. So far we have looked at Not Giving Up, Being Bold with the Gospel, and Pleasing God over Men. Today we look at the final three.
- Share Your Life: The next way we are to follow Paul is to share our life. Paul lived and worked amongst the people he ministered to. He was just as please to share his life as he was in sharing the Gospel. Why? Because the people had become precious to him. This only happens when we invest in people. (2 Cor 12:15) Paul knew that a church where people loved each other to point of exhaustion (1 Thess 1:3) would never die but instead thrive.
- Work Hard: The fifth example that Paul wanted us to follow was to work hard. Paul was a tent maker which meant that he entered the marketplace each day and earned his wages on his own. After he was done there he would then go and teach the scriptures to the new converts. Paul, as a traveling evangelist, didn’t want anyone to be able to point a finger at him and say he took advantage of people. He also wanted people to see his hard work which allowed him to then speak into people’s lives. As Christians we should be the hardest workers at our job.
- Walk Worthy: Finally Paul wants us to live our life in such a way that we are worthy to be called a follower of Christ. This means that we are becoming more like Jesus (holy), doing the right thing when we have a choice (righteousness), and treating other with resect and love (blameless). He really hits the parts of our life where we have free time. What do we do when we aren’t supposed to be somewhere doing something? This discretional time often defines us because of our choices. Are the glorifying to God or are they selfish and carnal. A walk worthy of God is one that points others towards Jesus.