Not Without Results

There is a reason to go on a mission. When you have a mission, you have something that you want to achieve. When you have a mission, you desire a specific result, a specific outcome, and Paul notes that this is the same for him as he went about his work:

You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 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.

1 Thessalonians 2:1-4

As Paul moved from one city to another, he shared the Gospel and taught the people to have faith in Christ. As he left, he left churches in his wake, small groups of people who carried on the ministry work in the local areas.

That is what had happened as Paul had come to Thessalonica. He had been treated badly in Philippi, even having been thrown into prison for doing nothing more than freeing a slave girl from her demon possession, making angry her owners because she could no longer predict the future. Now, as he arrives in Thessalonica, he was opposed by the Jews as he preached at the synagogue and elsewhere and is persecuted for the message that he brought of Jesus being the Messiah who was killed by the Jews and resurrected to life.

Despite all of the opposition, Paul began to win people to Christ. Some people began to believe, and this is the outcome that he had hoped for. These were the first steps toward achieving the outcome that he had desired for his mission.

We also must look toward achieving an outcome. I don’t believe Paul would have been satisfied to simply think or say, “Well, I guess they didn’t believe…time to move on.” No, he is doing this travel, he is enduring through the hardship, he is working night and day to see an outcome. He is doing these things so that there would be a result. He desires to see Jesus worshiped and glorified. He desires to see the people in Thessalonica know Christ and have others know him through these new believers.

Our work must lead toward these outcomes. It must lead toward these results. The results don’t come without God’s leading, and they also don’t come without our participation and work. We see this same thing in what Paul tells us as well. He said that their message came both through words as well as through the power of the Holy Spirit. In the same way, we must also work and continue to ask the Holy Spirit for his leading and confirmation of the message that we are speaking so that we will see the results that we are hoping to see as we complete the mission that Christ has sent us to accomplish.

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