1 Thessalonians 2:17-20 NLT
Dear brothers and sisters, after we were separated from you for a little while (though our hearts never left you), we tried very hard to come back because of our intense longing to see you again. We wanted very much to come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us. After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! Yes, you are our pride and joy.
Paul has done a lot throughout his life. He has so many things he could be proud of. So many accomplishments he could hang his hat on. In these verses though, you get an idea about his heart. You get a glimpse of what he values and puts importance on. You see that he really has a heart after God’s. He values people. He wants nothing more than to see people come to know God. He defines who he is by His relationship with God and other people.
It is so easy to get caught up in life. To persue money, jobs, toys or whatever else the world has to offer. People get so caught up in it that they wrap their self worth up in a job title, a status in society or in money. That isn’t the heart of God. That isn’t the heart of Paul either. How much better would we be as a society if we had the kind of heart we see here from Paul. It is easy to just give money to the poor or some worthy cause. Paul took that further. His joy came from seeing them come to Christ. He put a huge value on people and more importantly, on people coming to know God.
Lord, I pray that I would see people through your eyes and not through the eyes of the world. I pray that I would have a heart for other people like Paul. That I wouldn’t be so wrapped up in my own life and miss seeing when someone needs to hear about your love for them.