Episode #190. Today we’ll read 2 Thessalonians chapter 3 together. Paul asks the Thessalonians for prayer and warns against irresponsible behavior.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #190. Today we’ll read 2 Thessalonians chapter 3 together. Paul asks the Thessalonians for prayer and warns against irresponsible behavior.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So, refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
Well, here we are again…we finished another book. As you know, there are 260 chapters in the New Testament and 27 books. At a chapter a day, this 190th episode puts us way over halfway in chapters. Now, finally, we can say that we are over halfway in books too. 2 Thessalonians is the 14th book in the New Testament. Yay! Laura from Oklahoma told me she is keeping up, so two thumbs way up to you, Laura! Let me know at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, so I can give you a shout-out too!
2 Thessalonians Chapter 3
Pray for Us
In addition, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to God’s love and Christ’s endurance.
Warning against Irresponsible Behavior
Now we command you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother or sister who is idle and does not live according to the tradition received from us.
For you yourselves know how you should imitate us: We were not idle among you; we did not eat anyone’s food free of charge; instead, we labored and toiled, working night and day, so that we would not be a burden to any of you. It is not that we don’t have the right to support, but we did it to make ourselves an example to you so that you would imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat.” For we hear that there are some among you who are idle. They are not busy but busybodies.
Now we command and exhort such people by the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and provide for themselves. But as for you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing good. If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take note of that person; don’t associate with him, so that he may be ashamed. Yet don’t consider him as an enemy but warn him as a brother.
May the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you. I, Paul, am writing this greeting with my own hand, which is an authenticating mark in every letter; this is how I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
I can’t help it. This chapter makes me laugh. Not the substance of the warnings against idleness, but Paul’s plain language. Although when I think about the implications of what he is saying, it sobers me up kinda quickly. We know from myriad other Scriptures that we are to be kind and generous, especially to brothers and sisters in Christ. And yet here, Paul says to avoid those who are more interested in being busy-bodies rather than just busy. He actually, said, “Hey, you don’t work, you don’t eat!” It almost sounds contradictory, doesn’t it?
But we know that the Word of God does not contradict, it is inerrant. So, what should we draw from this? If I may, it sounds like we need God’s discernment, and I would suggest that we pray for each other in that way. There are times when the response of ‘no’ is the best answer to a request. To continue to feed someone who is able to feed himself or herself encourages laziness. And it certainly robs that brother or sister the blessing of producing enough to share.
And yet at the same time, we must go forward with humility because God’s wisdom and love must be liberally applied when admonishing a brother or sister. And let’s make sure we don’t have a log in our own eye before we point out the speck in our brother’s or sister’s eye. We’d better pray for the wisdom right now!
Oh, Lord, thank You. Peter tells us that Your divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness. How cool is that? But we need Your wisdom too, Father. We need Your loving wisdom and discernment to deal with these delicate matters in a way that is pleasing to You and kind to others. James tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask You for it. You are so generous, and You give ungrudgingly. But help us to ask in faith and not to doubt, Lord. Help us to be generous and wise. Help us also to be industrious and productive, Lord, if there is any tendency toward laziness. We sing Your praises for Your Provision. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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