I Thessalonians 2:1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:

2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:

4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:

6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.

7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

MEMORY VERSE: For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. —Isaiah 62:1

CENTRAL THOUGHT: The servant of Christ not only seeks to please and glorify Christ but also has a self-sacrificing love and zeal for souls and their eternal welfare.


I Thessalonians 2:2 “Shamefully entreated”: In Philippi, Paul and Silas had been beaten with many stripes, shut up in the inner prison, and their feet made fast in the stocks. “With much contention”: The words “not only signify with intense labor and earnestness, but may here mean exposed to the greatest danger; at the peril of our lives” (Clarke’s Commentary).

I Thessalonians 2:5 “A cloak of covetousness”: “A cloak over
covetousness” (MacKnight). “Flattery and covetousness were vices to which the teachers of philosophy, in ancient times, were remarkably addicted. And they are vices which, more or less, enter into the character of all impostors” (Benson Commentary).

I Thessalonians 2:7 “Nurse”: a nursing mother. “Cherisheth”: from a word meaning “to warm,” referring to the way birds warm and nourish their young.

I Thessalonians 2:8 “So being affectionately desirous…”: “We cared so deeply that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our own lives as well. That is how beloved you have become to us” (Berean Study Bible).

I Thessalonians 2:9 “We would not be chargeable”: we would not be a burden. At the time he was writing this Epistle he was working for his support at Corinth (1 Corinthians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 11:9).


Paul, with Silas and Timothy, visited Thessalonica on his second missionary journey. There he found a Jewish synagogue, where he preached for three Sabbaths in a row (some scholars think he probably stayed much longer than three weeks) of Jesus’ sufferings, death and resurrection, proving that He was truly the Messiah (Acts 17:1-15). Some of the Jews believed, along with a great multitude of Greeks (Gentiles) and many notable women of the area. Among the converts were Secundus and Aristarchus; the latter became one of Paul’s most constant companions.

A Jewish mob, envious at the large following Paul had gathered, made an assault on the home of Jason, where Paul and his company were staying. Not finding them there, they took Jason and other brethren to the city rulers, accusing them of harboring those who had “turned the world upside down” and who taught against Caesar by preaching another king, Jesus. The authorities secured Jason’s safety, and the brethren sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. The Bereans, more “noble” than the Thessalonians, received the Word readily and searched out its verity with the ancient scriptures. However, the Thessalonian Jews heard about it and came to make trouble again. Immediately Paul was sent away, but Silas and Timothy remained there.

Paul most certainly made more visits to the city, which became one of the important strongholds of Christianity for centuries, winning the title, “The Orthodox City.”

The tender, zealous tone of Paul’s writings to the church there provides a prime example of how the early saints dealt with converts. The apostle used, as metaphors for his affections for the souls, two of the most emotionally-charged word pictures—that of a nursing mother with her baby and a father teaching his children. Remember? A similar tender relationship was also referred to by Jesus when He charged Peter to “feed my lambs.” A mother ewe with a lamb. A nursing mother with an infant. This mothering, nurturing aspect of the church—the people of God—was no doubt an important part of the publishing of the gospel and the successful planting of the church all over the world.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. “Shamefully entreated.” Describe how and where Paul and his company had suffered.
  2. Paul’s exhortations to the Thessalonians was not of ____________, _____________, or __________.
  3. They were not ______________ men, nor did they use _____________ ________, nor a _______ of ________________, nor did they seek _________ of men.
  4. They were ____________ as a nursing ____________ who ___________her children.
  5. They behaved themselves ____________, _____________, and ____________.
  6. They were willing to impart, not only the __________ but their own __________.


Jesus Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purity unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14). The good works of which the apostle wrote to Titus were the self-denying acts of compassion and service that made the early disciples famous among the heathen. They literally gave themselves to the ministry of the gospel throughout the world. In the beginning, when thousands of them were all together in Jerusalem, their spirit and attitude toward their new faith was this: that none of them considered the things he possessed as his own; it was shared by all. If you had two goats and I had none, you gave one of your goats to me. In return, I had extra clothes on hand that you needed, so I gave you half of my closet. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the household of Stephanus, who were the first converts in Achaia, that they had “addicted” themselves to the ministry of the saints. Later, as persecution scattered the saints all over the world, the necessity of the literal community may have changed but the giving spirit of the true saints stayed the same.

From sharing their homes and lands to feeding the fatherless and widows to staying with the sick and dying when most people fled from the fatal plague that ravaged the cities, the saints were known by their zealous love. For the pilgrim saint who leaves all, bears the rigors of the cross, lives in the spirit of prayer, and believes and trusts in God to supply all his needs, this is but the outpouring of the life of Jesus Christ within him—untiring preaching of the gospel, unceasing toil and burden for souls, and unmeasured giving of time, resources and love to the needy.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck

Faith Stewart
November 4, 1889 — January 8, 1986

A memory I have as a young child during the late fifties is of Sis. Faith Stewart coming to our church one Sunday morning and preaching. There was something about her that got my attention. Later when my mother would read her books to us for worship, I was captivated by her zealous passion for souls that took her to India where she rescued many young girls from becoming slaves to debauchery. She was so brave going into the “haunts of sin” and snatching up trapped young girls to rescue them. After years of labor there, her work for the Lord was terminated, and she was compelled to leave. With a very heavy heart she came back to the United States. Her labors there were finished, but her zealous heart for souls could not be stopped by the man-made organization that ordered her to come home. Yes, it was true that she was ill and weary in body, but her mind couldn’t stop thinking of the children who needed to be taught the gospel.

She walked one day by the ocean with a heavy heart praying, “Lord what do I do now?” Where do you want me to go? Just then the Lord gave her a vision of many little brown faces on the horizon with little arms reaching out to her, and His still voice seemed to say, “Cuba.”

This was another leap of faith for her; she had very limited funds and no big committee to help her. She left the United States on a boat to start a home for children in Cuba. She was a single woman, financially broke, a foreigner who didn’t speak Spanish, on a one-way mission trip, heading south for the benefit of boys and girls she had never met. When she arrived she began sharing her burden with people in the area, and soon one small door was opened and then another and another. Soon the children began arriving, and an orphanage was opened where many fatherless children were raised to serve the Lord in Cuba. Souls led to the Lord through her ministry late in her life are still ministering in active congregations in Cuba and surrounding countries today.

—Bro. James Bell