LINK: 1 Thessalonians 2
In this chapter Paul defends himself and his ministry (vs 1-12) and expresses his loving concern for the Thessalonian believers (vs 13-20).
Paul's expression of his heart in this chapter demonstrates his great love for the believers at Thessalonica. He had worked among them with the gentleness of a mother with her baby. He had fond affection for them and poured out his life for them. He had exhorted, encouraged, and implored each one of them as a father would his own children. His great desire was to see them walk in the ways of God. His separation from them grieved Paul, and he tried repeatedly to visit them again.
Paul did not view these people as a "project" or an item on his check-list. His heart was very connected to them. They were like his children. He poured his life into them in order to see them come to God.
Verse 4 - "but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts."
Let's examine our own hearts and make sure our goal isn't our own glory and our motivation isn't self-centered. Especially in ministry, we must be seeking to please God not to get the praise of men.
Lord, examine my heart. Give me a pure heart of compassion and love for the lost as well as for other believers. May I seek to please You in all that I do and not pursue selfish desires or goals. Help me to love others by pouring my life into theirs and helping them to know You. In the name of Jesus, amen.