Further Study: The Apostolic Example

“No matter how high the profession, he whose heart is not filled with love for God and his fellow men is not a true disciple of Christ. . . . He might display great liberality; but should he, from some other motive than genuine love, bestow all his goods to feed the poor, the act would not commend him to the favor of God.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 318, 319.

“While Paul was careful to set before his converts the plain teaching of Scripture regarding the proper support of the work of God, . . . at various times during his ministry in the great centers of civilization, he wrought at a handicraft for his own maintenance. . . .

“It is at Thessalonica that we first read of Paul’s working with his hands in self-supporting labor while preaching the word[1 Thess. 2:692 Thess. 3:89]. . . .

“But Paul did not regard as lost the time thus spent. . . . He gave his fellow workers instruction in spiritual things, and he also set an example of industry and thoroughness. He was a quick, skillful worker, diligent in business, ‘fervent in spirit, serving the Lord’ (Rom. 12:11).”-Ellen G. White, Gospel Workers, pp. 234-236.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Think about a painful time that you have endured (physically, spiritually, emotionally, or some mixture of them all). In practical terms, how does someone find joy or courage in the midst of such suffering? Why is finding that joy and courage so much easier said than done?
  2. Think about someone whose life clearly did not reflect the claims to be a Christian. How did that person impact your own walk with the Lord?
  3. What are the pitfalls in becoming emotionally attached to people with whom you are sharing the gospel? How does one set appropriate boundaries for the relationships that develop whenever you work closely with other people?

Summary: In this passage Paul opened his heart to reveal the truest motives for ministry. The ultimate motive is to please God, whether or not those we minister to are pleased. Motivations of money, sex, and power have no place in a heart determined to please God. The next most important motive for ministry is heartfelt love for the lost. Both of these motives are clearly expressed in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12.



Further Study: The Apostolic Example — 6 Comments

  1. Whether we do it conciously or not, our lives witness either for good or for evil. Make it conciously for good and be consistent.

    • That consciousness for good and being consistent comes with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I am powerless to do this on my own. I have to surrender and seek his help and guidance daily with every step I take.

  2. It is always a stuggle for the child of God.

    But the beauty is that we have victory in Jesus.
    Our new character is being formed through every struggle.

    I am constantly concerned about "how I am doing?" in the eyes of my Lord" but also and very important in the eyes of my not yet consecrated family, co-workers, customers and neighbors.

    May we continue to strive to surrender to God as he refashions us and molds us into his image and his likeness.

    Happy Sabbath! Brethren.

  3. The journey of true faith is shapened by every difficulty encountered along the thorny way of life. May my personal experience be an indelible road mark that inspires future Christians that pass same road of Christian faith.


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