You are witnesses,1 and so is God,2 of how holy,3 righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,412
encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy5 of God, who calls6 you into his kingdom and glory.
And we also thank God continually7 because, when you received the word of God,8 which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
For you, brothers, became imitators9 of God's churches in Judea,10 which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen11 the same things those churches suffered from the Jews,
who killed the Lord Jesus12 and the prophets13 and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men
in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles14 so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit.15 The wrath of God has come upon them at last.a
But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought),16 out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.1718
For we wanted to come to you--certainly I, Paul, did, again and again--but Satan18 stopped us.1919
For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown20 in which we will glory21 in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?22 Is it not you?
Indeed, you are our glory23 and joy.