1Th 2:9-12 “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. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”
Paul made the statement in 2Co 12:15 that he would “very gladly spend and be spent” for the church. Verse nine under consideration here shows us that Paul was of the same mind with the Thessalonian brethren. The brothers that were with Paul obviously felt the same way by Paul’s expression “we would not be chargeable.” Instead of being concerned about getting proper recognition or recompense, these men were more interested in encouraging and consoling the church.
Those who are truly dedicated to serving God are willing to do whatever is necessary in order to be of the greatest benefit to the Lord’s people. If that means laboring night and day at a secular job so as to not be a burden (chargeable) to the church, then we will do that. By the same token, if it means putting ourselves at the churches disposal (per their request) day and night, then we will do that. Rest assured that any who are only feigning this devotion to the church of God will be exposed to the believer.
Paul said that the church was witness (bearing record) to their pure, dedicated service to the gospel of God. However, we know that men can sometimes be deceived (at least for a while). This is why Paul called another to record concerning what they did and why they did it. God is also witness (bearing record) of the reason for our service and whether we are seeking to serve God or self.
When I was a child, my natural father did his very best to teach me to be a good, morally upright citizen. Sometimes that required some strict requirements and sometimes it only required a word of encouragement. Either way, he was faithful to do what was necessary. He was not doing it because of what people might think of him or how he might be treated. His purpose was so that I might know and do what was right and that I might have that reputation with those I lived among.
Paul told the Thessalonians that they felt toward them as a father does his children. As ministers of God’s word, we need to have this same protective affection toward the household of faith. Our instruction and encouragement should not be based on how it reflects on us, but how it benefits them and honors God. As a child, there were times that my father’s requirements seemed too great for me, but he was always there to teach, encourage, and demonstrate as necessary.
Paul seems to set something forth here that at first glance would almost give us a moment of panic. How am I supposed to ever walk (behave) worthy of God? The answer is right there before us. We walk worthy of God because He has called us unto His kingdom and glory. It is not about what the minister wants: it is about what God has enabled us to do.
God has called us. The Greek word rendered as “called” not only carries the idea of being bidden, but also indicates being surnamed (see Strong’s). A surname is a family name. In calling us by His family name, He has enabled us to partake of His kingdom and glory here.
May we give God praise (and not man) that He gives us the knowledge through His gospel and the power through the Holy Ghost to walk worthy of Him!