God’s Word Goes Forth: Encourage One Another in Faith
2 Thessalonians 3:1-18: Paul asks the Thessalonians to pray that he and his companions may be kept safe from evil people. In turn he prays that God will continue to make them loving and patient. Finally, he warns them to stay away from people who do not work, and people who refuse to obey his instructions.
Today's Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 3:5
May the Lord lead you into a greater understanding of God’s love and the endurance that is given by Christ.
1 Finally, our friends, pray for us that the Lord's message may continue to spread rapidly and be received with honor, just as it was among you. 2 Pray also that God will rescue us from wicked and evil people; for not everyone believes the message. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and keep you safe from the Evil One. 4 And the Lord gives us confidence in you, and we are sure that you are doing and will continue to do what we tell you. 5 May the Lord lead you into a greater understanding of God's love and the endurance that is given by Christ. 6 Our friends, we command you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to keep away from all believers who are living a lazy life and who do not follow the instructions that we gave them. 7 You yourselves know very well that you should do just what we did. We were not lazy when we were with you. 8 We did not accept anyone's support without paying for it. Instead, we worked and toiled; we kept working day and night so as not to be an expense to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to demand our support; we did it to be an example for you to follow. 10 While we were with you, we used to tell you, “Whoever refuses to work is not allowed to eat.” 11 We say this because we hear that there are some people among you who live lazy lives and who do nothing except meddle in other people's business. 12 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we command these people and warn them to lead orderly lives and work to earn their own living. 13 But you, friends, must not become tired of doing good. 14 It may be that some there will not obey the message we send you in this letter. If so, take note of them and have nothing to do with them, so that they will be ashamed. 15 But do not treat them as enemies; instead, warn them as believers. 16 May the Lord himself, who is our source of peace, give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all. 17 With my own hand I write this: Greetings from Paul This is the way I sign every letter; this is how I write. 18 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
What advice does Paul have for the Thessalonians as they wait for Christ’s return? What are some of the hazards of laziness? What can you do to avoid becoming “tired of doing good” (3:13)?
Lord God, there are days when I am bored or frustrated by my work. Sometimes I would rather not work at all. Renew my energy and remind me of the ways in which my work can bring about your goodness in this world, that I may be an agent of your peace for all people. Amen.
Those who struggle at work