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Read Introduction to 1 Thessalonians


“For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God“


Another aspect of the love we give the people to whom we minister is sacrificial hard work.

For you remember, brethren,

Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians about a year after he left Thessalonica. Nobody knew better than he did how sacrificially the gospel team gave to the Thessalonians.

our labor and toil;

While in Thessalonica, Paul and his team physically labored at trades to meet their financial needs. They moonlighted during their stay with the Thessalonians. Paul was a tent-maker (Acts 18:3). He made tents in Corinth, Thessalonica, and Ephesus. He worked long hours into the night so that he could preach the gospel in the day.

The word “labor” carries the idea of painful effort, emphasizing toil in work — hardship, distress. The gospel team put in a lot of hard work in bringing the gospel to the Thessalonians.

for laboring night and day,

Instead of being a financial burden to the church in Thessalonica, the gospel team relieved them of that burden by doing physical labor night and day. They burned the candle at both ends for the sake of giving them the gospel.

that we might not be a burden to any of you,

The word “burden” means to burden heavily.

“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us” (2 Thessalonians 3:7-9).

The gospel team did not want to be a heavy financial burden to the Thessalonians. No one knew this better than the church at Thessalonica. This church saw how hard the team worked to advance the gospel among them. They did this so that they would not be a burden to them.

we preached to you the gospel of God.

The word “preached” carries the idea of making a public, formal, or official announcement by a herald.

“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!’” (Romans 10:14-15).


A willingness to sacrifice selfish ends will advance the gospel throughout the world.


It seems that the idea of sacrificing self for the sake of the gospel is out of date among Christian leaders today. If the church is going to advance the gospel throughout the world in our day, it will take some sacrifice.

Would you consider serving Jesus Christ without getting something back for yourself?

“Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself” (2 Corinthians 11:7-9).