For you yourselves, brethren, know that our visit to you did not fail of its purpose.
But, as you will remember, after we had already met with suffering and outrage at Philippi, we summoned up boldness, by the help of our God, to tell you God's Good News amid much opposition.
For our preaching was not grounded on a delusion, nor prompted by mingled motives, nor was there fraud in it.
But as God tested and approved us before entrusting us with His Good News, so in what we say we are seeking not to please men but to please God, who tests and approves our motives.
For, as you are well aware, we have never used the language of flattery nor have we found pretexts for enriching ourselves--God is our witness;
nor did we seek glory either from you or from any other mere men, although we might have stood on our dignity as Christ's Apostles.
On the contrary, in our relations to you we showed ourselves as gentle as a mother is when she tenderly nurses her own children.
Seeing that we were thus drawn affectionately towards you, it would have been a joy to us to have imparted to you not only God's Good News, but to have given our very lives also, because you had become very dear to us.
For you remember, brethren, our labour and toil: how, working night and day so as not to become a burden to any one of you, we came and proclaimed among you God's Good News.
You yourselves are witnesses--and God is witness--how holy and upright and blameless our dealings with you believers were.
For you know that we acted towards every one of you as a father does towards his own children, encouraging and cheering you,
and imploring you to live lives worthy of fellowship with God who is inviting you to share His own Kingship and glory.
And for this further reason we render unceasing thanks to God, that when you received God's Message from our lips, it was as no mere message from men that you embraced it, but as--what it really is--God's Message, which also does its work in the hearts of you who believe.
For you, brethren, followed the example of the Churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judaea; seeing that you endured the same ill-treatment at the hands of your countrymen, as they did at the hands of the Jews.
Those Jewish persecutors killed both the Lord Jesus and the Prophets, and drove us out of their midst. They are displeasing to God, and are the enemies of all mankind;
for they still try to prevent our preaching to the Gentiles so that they may find salvation. They thus continually fill up the measure of their own sins, and God's anger in its severest form has overtaken them.
But we, brethren, having been for a short time separated from you in bodily presence, though not in heart, endeavoured all the more earnestly, with intense longing, to see you face to face.
On this account we wanted to come to you--at least I Paul wanted again and again to do so--but Satan hindered us.
For what is our hope or joy, or the crown of which we boast? Is it not you yourselves in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His Coming?
Yes, you are our glory and our joy.