Proper 25 · 1 Thessalonians 2:1–13 · October 29, 2017
By David Peter,
This is the second in a series of sermons based on texts from 1 Thessalonians. The series is entitled “Fatherly Encouragement.” Paul writes as the spiritual father to his children who need guidance and encouragement to grow in faith and faithful living.
Fatherly Encouragement toward Motivation
The motivation for advancing God’s mission derives from God’s love to us and through us to others.
That the hearer may serve God and others from right motives.
Every parent knows the challenge of motivating their children to do what is assigned to them. It may involve the kids’ daily chores, nightly homework, and regular responsibilities. Parents want their children not only to carry out these duties, but also to do so with the right motives.
The Christians in Thessalonica were young in the faith. In this epistle the Apostle Paul brings encouragement to these believers to continue the mission which he began in their midst. As their spiritual father, he calls them to carry out God’s mission from right motives, and he models those motives in his own ministry to them.
I. The task of mission is to declare the gospel of God.
A. God’s mission is to declare the good news centered in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (2:1–2).
B. Our mission is one of good news centered in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
II. The motivation for mission is from love.
A. There are many impure motives to carry out God’s mission.
1. Paul’s appeal did not arise from error, impurity, deception, people-pleasing, flattery, greed, or personal glory (2:3–6).
2. Our motives for doing the Lord’s work should not be self-serving.
B. The right motivation for mission derives from genuine love.
1. Paul was moved to minister to the Thessalonians by his affection for them and their endearment to him (2:7–8)
2. Paul modeled ministry and mission that was rightly motivated (2:9–12).
3. Our service is motivated by God’s love to us and through us to others.
III. The result of mission is the reception of the life-giving word of God.
A. The Thessalonians received the word of God which worked in them faith and service (2:13).
B. We continue to gladly hear and learn God’s word and share it with others.