So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. ~1 Thessalonians 2:8
A little girl asked her father if he would buy her a large cotton candy to eat at the county fair. The cotton candy was almost half the size of his daughter. He said to her: “I don’t know. It looks too big for you to eat.” She replied: “Don’t worry, Daddy. I’m bigger on the inside than I am on the outside.” When Paul said that he imparted his soul to the believers at Thessalonica, he was telling them that his involvement in their lives was “soul deep.” There must be a largeness of heart within us if we wish to see the people we minister to become Christians who share our fervency.
We see the compassion.
Paul and his team were soul deep in compassion. They were affectionately desirous and imparted their souls, and the Thessalonians were dear to them. Paul’s involvement with these people reminds me of Jonathan and how his soul was knit with David’s. Paul wanted God’s best for these people. Paul decided to do anything it took and give everything he had for the success of these precious brethren.
We see the kindness.
“But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children.” Paul exercised the lovingkindness that a nursing mother shows to her children. Being soul deep means that we cannot overlook having close relationships with the people we minister to. Just as a nursing mother has to be consistent in feeding the child, our work with other believers must be one of patience, meekness, and helping them to learn in all circumstances. Be soul deep in kindness. Go out of your way and never lack in social grace to another believer.
We see the commitment.
Paul said that he labored and travailed night and day so that he would not be chargeable to any of them. We must be soul deep in our commitment. Our commitment must be with excellence. Our commitment must be with our extra. Our commitment must sometimes go to extremes. Commitment is not solely schedule-based. The church at Thessalonica turned the world upside down with the gospel because they saw the commitment Paul had for their salvation and spiritual growth.
We see the conscientiousness.
Paul said that he exhorted, comforted, and charged every one of them as a father does with his children. He encouraged them to do more and to do better. He corrected them when they sinned and did wrong. He motivated them to strengthen their weaknesses and to not let their strengths make them prideful. He worked on every facet of their spiritual lives so that they would be victorious in Christ. We must be soul deep in conscientiousness.
We see the consecration.
Paul told them he behaved himself holily, justly, and unblameably before them. They saw Jesus in his life. Paul was careful with his speech and his spirit. They watched as he was mistreated and kept a cool spirit. They watched him endure hardships with the joy of the Lord. They watched him treat others with respect and love. Like Paul, we must be soul deep in consecration. The most effective ministry we can have with people is one that is soul deep.
Have a passionate God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Chronicles 13-17