1 Thessalonians 2:3-8
3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children among you.Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. (NIV)
In today's passage of Scripture, the Apostle Paul is showing us what true apostolic ministry is really like. With pure motives, he came to the church not looking for praise from people. He didn't try to exert his authority either. Instead he (and his team) came with the beautiful, humble hearts of little children.
Instead of flexing his spiritual muscles like he could have, he chose a path less traveled, the path of childlike humility and family love. Can you imagine what that would have been like? The greatest apostle who ever lived, came with the personal humility of a little one and the love of a nursing mother was caring for her children. Wow!
I don't know how you feel when you read this passage, but it certainly does turn the competitive, orphan-hearted power structures of this world on their head!
My prayer is that we would all be reminded today that God's Kingdom is all about family. It isn't about organizational charts and systems of domination. It's about a loving family where a little child is the greatest (Matthew 18:1-5) and the poor are the richest!
I am so thankful that we have a Heavenly Father and an Elder Brother who are all about family too! That truly makes the news of the Kingdom really, really good news!
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. (NIV)