Wednesday: Caring Deeply (1 Thess. 2:7, 8)
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In 1 Thessalonians 2:4, Paul’s primary motivation for ministry is to please God. What additional motivation does Paul bring up in the verses that follow? See 1 Thess. 2:6-8.


In today’s world, money, sex, and power are often considered the primary motivations for human behavior, at least for those consumed by self-interest. In 1 Thessalonians 2:3-6, Paul uses a number of different words to rule out similar motivations in relation to his ministry. Greed, immorality, deception, and flattery have no place in Christian life and ministry. The apostles were motivated primarily by the desire to please God in all that they did.

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

In verse 6 Paul notes that the apostles could have been a burden to the Thessalonians, or literally could have “thrown their weight around.” As apostles and teachers they could have demanded recognition of their status. They could have expected monetary favors and to be treated with special honor. But in Thessalonica Paul declined anything that could have compromised his motives, or that could have put a stumbling block in the way of the new converts.

While Paul’s primary motivation was to please God, in verses 7 and 8 he expresses an additional motivation, his great affection for the Thessalonians themselves. Verse 8 uses the language of emotional warmth. Preaching the gospel was much more than a duty for Paul; he gave his heart, even his whole self, to the people.

How did the churches of Macedonia, of which Thessalonica was a part, respond to the tenderness of the apostles?See 2 Cor. 8:1-5What does this teach us about the importance of character in the lives of those who witness to others?


In Monday’s lesson we mentioned the three ancient keys to persuasion: the character of the speaker (ethos), the logic of the argument (logos), and the appeal to emotion or self-interest (pathos). In verses 4-6 Paul emphasized the character of the apostles as being a reason to follow them. In verses 7 and 8 we see an appeal to pathos, the emotional bond that developed between the apostles and the Thessalonians. The gospel is at its most powerful when it touches the heart.

Think about the character of someone who influenced you in a positive way spiritually. What was it in particular that touched you? How can you learn to emulate the same traits?

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Wednesday: Caring Deeply (1 Thess. 2:7, 8) — 8 Comments

  1. Today's lesson said, "In today’s world, money, sex, and power are often considered the primary motivations for human behavior." That, obviously, is true, however, we must not make the mistake where we consider those things evil in and of themselves. For instance money is not evil but, "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (1 Tim 6:10 NKJV). It is when the object becomes a god in our lives to the point that it controls us - that is when it becomes sinful.

    Even sex is not evil for God created it along with marriage as a gift to be properly used. All these things when kept in their proper sphere can be tremendous blessings. I like to think of Nicodemus who is considered by tradition to have been one of the richest people in Jerusalem in the time of Christ yet supported the church both intellectually (Jn 7:50) and monetarily (Jn 19:39).

    In my opinion, neither is it sinful to have a nice house or car or clothes but as in all things there is a practical limit. One does not have to have a palatial mansion or a Rolls Royce to be happy; those things are a form of gluttony that becomes disgusting to those in poverty.

    God gives wealth and power to those who use them correctly such as Job and Abraham. But, to most of the rest of us who abuse the resources that God provides those things become the proverbial millstone hung around our necks that drags us down to hell.

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  2. Brother Tyre's comment is true. There is nothing wrong about living a moderate happy life in Christ. The problem we have in the Christian world today especially in Africa where I stay, is there so many social preachers, whose interest is to preach about money and prosperity good as it may be, but the danger is that most people flocking to these preachers expects riches, jobs, marriages but they have no time to prepare for eternity. As Adventists we need to focus our attention on our mission of preaching the three angels message and not on personal glory. Let Paul be our model.

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  3. I have a question. The way the Adventist church (and many other denominations) do the work of evangelism is quite interesting. At least in the west, pastors are very well taken care of and the money that circulates through tithe takes care of them very much. I have seen many pride themselves in how good they look, the house they live in and whatever many other items they own. Let me be clear; I believe that we ought to take care of God's workers and give to them. That is really what was happening in 2 Cor 8:1-5. But am I wrong in the slightest in thinking that those of us who say we are about our Father's business are a little too wealthy and too flaunting and demanding of respect for any position we hold within a Christian institution? It is not my work to look into the heart of others, but I would like each to think of the possibility that we may not be as motivated by love for others as we think we are. If we examine our motives, what will we find?

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    • Erome, to me that is why Jesus told the parable of the wheat and the tares where He said, "Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, 'First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn'" (Mat 13:30 NKJV). There will always be hypocrites and false brethren in the church right up to His second coming, some of them in important positions and that is not only in the Adventist church but shows up in all the other denominations as well.

      And then there are the false prophets, "who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
      You will know them by their fruits" (Mat 7:15-16 NKJV). These are the ones who appear to be Christian but who have hidden agendas that serve self. They are more difficult to detect but when their fruit has matured the true nature of their ministry will be seen.

      The fact is that the Christian church from the beginning has never been without fault and appears at times to be more like the devil. In spite of that, God will justify His church in the end which has been prophesied symbolically in the Day of Atonement exercises of the Old Testament sanctuary. There will always be faithful Christians, true disciples, that will manifest the source of all that they do in the spirit of Jesus. They are Christ's real church and will go with Him to glory to live eternally.

      As for the rest of the church in the end time the true witness has said:

      And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,"These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
      'I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, "I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing"-- and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked'" (Rev 3:14-17 NKJV).

      I think the last verse (17) is the most important one pertaining to what you have said.

      In my view of the situation, the question is not what about those people but what about me? Do I have the Holy Spirit and manifest His presence by being loving and kind and less involved with self?

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  4. I have a question for chibesa,
    that being said, how then do we keep watch? Do we have to let go of money?

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  5. I wonder the way we think of money even in thessalonian's time they had people as we are, in fact financial capacity in a church very good but, for instance, am 25 years old other sons and daugthers of the pasters can go in pastral universties and they often give up after going in other faculties that they like but voluntier in ministry as I am can not have sponsership, that is one of the ways the devil cheats our church and wastes our money.

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    • Anyone who thinks that life on this planet while sin exists is fair is kidding themselves. Let me give you another very good example from the United States. We usually have an offering designated for the educational institutions within a union conference. Since I live in an area covered by the North Pacific Union Conference there is an annual Sabbath where the offering is designated for Walla Walla University and another Sabbath for AU/LLU/Oakwood. Furthermore, since tithe is used for the support of education I am also indirectly supporting that institution through it as well.

      In spite of the fact that we are asked to support these institutions through our offerings because I live in the state of Montana and Walla Walla University is in the state of Washington I get to pay out of state fees which are substantially higher than if I lived in the state of Washington. Fair? - not a chance! And yes you are right that denominational workers get a discount in school fees which is considered to be an incentive for denominational employment. I also knew a dentist in one of our churches (I have been in many in various states) that made the remark that Loma Linda University was a place where the rich perpetuate the rich.

      So, this side of Heaven there is inequity but on the other side the playing field is going to be leveled out - no one is going to be greater than anyone else and no one is going to be denied opportunity or penalized for doing what he/she desires to do with their life as long as it is not destructive. This is what those who are safe to save have to look forward to while the rest will never see anything better than what they have here on this dingy decaying world.

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