ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 126


You yourselves know, dear brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was
not a failure. You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just
before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God
gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of
great opposition. So you can see we were not preaching with any deceit or
impure motives or trickery.
For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the
Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines
the motives of our hearts. Never once did we try to win you with flattery,
as you well know. And God is our witness that we were not pretending to
be your friends just to get your money! As for human praise, we have never
sought it from you or anyone else.
As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands
of you, but instead we were like children among you. Or we were like a
mother feeding and caring for her own children. We loved you so much
that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.
Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked
among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not
be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you. You
yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and
honest and faultless toward all of you believers. And you know that we
treated each of you as a father treats his own children. We pleaded with
you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God
would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and
Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And
this word continues to work in you who believe.
And then, dear brothers and sisters, you suffered persecution from your
own countrymen. In this way, you imitated the believers in God’s churches
in Judea who, because of their belief in Christ Jesus, suffered from their
own people, the Jews. For some of the Jews killed the prophets, and some
even killed the Lord Jesus. Now they have persecuted us, too. They fail
to please God and work against all humanity as they try to keep us from
preaching the Good News of salvation to the Gentiles. By doing this, they
continue to pile up their sins. But the anger of God has caught up with
them at last.
Dear brothers and sisters, after we were separated from you for a little
while (though our hearts never left you), we tried very hard to come back
because of our intense longing to see you again. We wanted very much to

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