The month of May typically ends another school year, and this was the case at Clarks Summit University and Baptist Bible Seminary. Graduates completed their required curricular assignments and responsibilities; therefore, giving them the opportunity to love and serve others wherever God may lead them. It is an exciting time for the lives of our graduates. Is there any advice that we can glean from the Scriptures when it comes to serving others? The apostle Paul did a fair amount of serving on behalf of others. Let’s look at his example in 1 Thessalonians.
Therefore, Paul sent Timothy to strengthen and encourage the Thessalonian church, and he received a comforting report from Timothy (1 Thess. 3:6). Although the Thessalonians were remaining faithful, Paul’s aim was to continue to motivate them to live in light of the coming of the Lord. Because of their relationship with Jesus Christ, they can be hopeful people.
Paul’s boldness to share the gospel (2:2-9)
Paul made great efforts to share the gospel even in the presence of opposition (cf. Acts 17). Preaching was no easy task; opposition was always waiting – but Paul spoke without any interest in personal gain. He spoke freely and fearlessly. Paul’s exhortations were not sourced in error, did not intend to direct people off course, and certainly did not try to gain a following (2:3). Rather Paul makes it clear that God approved him and entrusted him with sharing the gospel. As a matter of fact, God too has approved you – believer, graduate! Share the gospel!
His motivation was not to please man, use exaggerated praise to move others to action, nor did he try to obtain glory from anyone. Rather Paul served others in the interest of God; and all the while, God examined his heart and motivation (2:4-6). His ministry was characterized as considerate, tender, and gentle – as a mother cares for her child. He was resolved to share the good news without reservation, and without being a financial burden (2:7-9). Believer, graduate, what motivates you to share the gospel? To serve and love others?
Paul’s testimony of character (2:10-12)
Paul made it clear that God was watching (2:10) and his conduct was right, and just to both God and man’s laws – he was blameless. His ministry to the Thessalonians was like a father to his children. While his responsibility was not just to teach, he also came alongside and provided instruction on what activities to choose and what to avoid. He urged them, cheered them, and insisted that they heed God’s words so that ultimately their daily walk was to be worthy, a life that honors God in all its relationships and activities; it is suitable/fitting to what God determines as acceptable or not (2:11-12). This is Paul’s example of serving others, sharing the gospel, and doing so with godly character.
Challenges for your service toward others in 2022
Believer, graduate – what is the goal of your ministry? That others would walk in such a way that their lives represent what is acceptable before God? Remember, God is your witness.
Believer, graduate – are you resolved to love and serve others in 2022, and beyond?
Share the gospel!