C. Its Fostering
1. The Care of a Nursing Mother
and an Exhorting Father
  1. For you yourselves know, brothers, our entrance toward you, that it has not been in vain.
  2. But having suffered previously and having been outrageously treated, even as you know, in Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much struggle.
  3. For our exhortation is not out of deception nor out of uncleanness nor in guile;
  4. But even as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who proves our hearts.
  5. For neither were we found at any time with flattering speech, even as you know, nor with a pretext for covetousness; God is witness.
  6. Nor did we seek glory from men, neither from you nor from others, though we could have stood on our authority as apostles of Christ.
  7. But we were gentle in your midst, as a nursing mother would cherish her own children.
  8. Yearning in this way over you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own souls, because you became beloved to us.
  9. For you remember, brothers, our labor and travail: While working night and day so as not to be burdensome to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
  10. You are witnesses, as well as God, how in a holy and righteous and blameless manner we conducted ourselves toward you who believe,
  11. Just as you know how we were to each one of you, as a father to his own children, exhorting you and consoling you and testifying,
  12. So that you might walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
2. The Reward of Such Care
  1. And because of this we also thank God unceasingly that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but even as it truly is, the word of God, which also operates in you who believe.
  2. For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus, for you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, even as they also from the Jews,
  3. Who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out; and they are not pleasing to God and are contrary to all men,
  4. In that they forbid us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so that they fill up their sins always. But wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.
  5. But we, brothers, having been bereaved of you for a little while, in presence, not in heart, were more abundantly eager with great desire to see your face.
  6. Therefore we wanted to come to you, indeed I Paul, both once and again, yet Satan hindered us.
  7. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Are not even you?
  8. For you are our glory and joy.