http://www.xlministries.org/articles.php - Dec 9, 2013 1:06:07 PM - Dec 4, 2004 8:42:08 PM
For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
1 Thessalonians 2:9Paul has already made it clear that his commitment to the gospel message and desire to proclaim it is not for selfish reasons. He is not a greedy man. Instead, he sincerely loves the Lord and believes in the life‐ saving message of the gospel. This is translated into a love and commitment to people.
“For you recall” makes it clear that the testimony of Paul and his associates was evident to the people at Thessalonica. There was no question concerning their priorities!
The word “labor” is a reference to the work that Paul had to do in order to avoid being a burden to the Thessalonians. That work is clearly defined in this passage by the word “hardship” and the words “night and day.” Paul, Timothy and Silas worked at all hours in order to support themselves during this ministry with the Thessalonians. The term “hardship” expresses the great difficulty that was needed in order to keep up with the ministry needs as well as their physical needs.
While Paul describes the long days and nights and the tremendous amount of work, he does not do so with an attitude of frustration. His service to the Lord is genuine and he is more than willing to work long, hard hours in order to accomplish the work of the Lord.
Working in ministry must never become a “convenience” type of job. It is not a forty‐ hour work week and is seldom convenient! We expect those in lay leadership to work their normal job of 40‐ 50 hours a week (and sometimes more) and then come and volunteer their time in the ministry. The people we work with ought to be able to recall the hard work, dedication and commitment that we have in our service to the Lord and in our love for the people whom God has entrusted to us.
Paul did not complain about the long hours or the difficult work. He delighted in the opportunity to serve the Lord by proclaiming the message of the gospel. I hope the work of the ministry and the proclamation of the gospel is truly a delight to your heart!
Rocky Wyatt2010-06-07 Ministry Defined, Part 7, Rocky Wyatt, 2010-05-31