1 Thessalonians 2
5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.
Lord Jesus--Paul would not be one to go first class. I am thinking that he would have taken coach if he were here today. He supported himself by making tents. I can relate, I don't make tents but I know what it is to live in two worlds. There is always that change of headset that I have to do, and yet at the same time maintain the grounding of grace. Leading grace over lunch would not work in my little group...nor would it be understanding of their feelings.
7 Instead, we were like young children among you.Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
Lord Jesus--So there was love that was demonstrated by Paul toward the church. The parent role and a life shared with the people who God brought into his life, was something that Paul experienced again and again. There is a cost in the giving. I am thinking that Paul did not take many vacations, and his down time was really time spent preparing for the next event. I wonder if he ever used a bounce house?
9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.
Lord Jesus--It is all hard work some of which goes unnoticed and unseen. I am sure that Paul had sleepless nights on occasion wondering about where the next job was going to come from. I wonder if he ever wondered about how he was going to be able to pull it all off in the middle of working with this church, far from anywhere he had ever called home before.
10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
Lord Jesus--That is the deal. Pastoring is much like parenting. Working out the issues with understanding, grace and love...takes time and energy never knowing except by faith's eye how things will turn out. The reality is these relatiionships are durable over time and will be what matters for eternity.
In this day, help me to lead a life that shows that kind of grace.