“So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us“
So, affectionately longing for you,
The words “affectionately longing” means to have a strong affection for, a yearning after. The gospel team had a yearning love for the Thessalonians.
“…and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you” (2 Corinthians 9:14).
we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God,
The team exercised great delight in imparting the gospel and their lives to the Thessalonians. The word “impart” means more than “to give.” It means to give from oneself.
but also our own lives,
The exponents of the gospel shared themselves by moonlighting rather than asking the Thessalonians to support them. They spared nothing so that they could advance the gospel in Thessalonica.
“…men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15: 26).
The team gave their entire beings so that the church at Thessalonica would grow. Sacrifice is necessary if people are going to develop into what God wants them to become. A truly loving mother pours out her whole life for her children.
because you had become dear to us
The team enlarged their love toward the Thessalonians. Someone said, “I love ministry; it is just people I can’t stand!” True ministry has a deep love for people.
True leaders care about the spiritual and eternal welfare of their followers.
So many Christian leaders make merchandise of those who follow them today. This is a sad story of selfishness in ministry. This is a sad indictment against the nature of leadership in the church.
“But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:19-21).
Rather than operating on greed, committed leaders should spare no pain for those they serve.
“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).