Thessalonians – Living Forward

When we are working hard to get something accomplished and the person next to you, who could be helping you, is texting on their phone, it’s annoying. Right? Laziness is annoying. Isn’t it amazing how skillful lazy people are at rationalizing their lack of drive and push. “I’m tired, I deserve a break.” “I have a bad back, so I can’t help you.” “I got up too late so therefore I cannot help you.” “My mood is bad, so I should not be around others right now.” “I’m feel a cold coming on, so I should stay in bed.” “I loved the meal, but now I am too full to help you clean up.” The list goes can go on and on…We might have all used these excuses before ourselves. Yikes.

Paul warns God’s church of believers about laziness. Listen in with open hearts as we read the last part of his letter to the Thessalonians. He has been so encouraging and full of praise through both letters. The believers are “living Jesus”, “living forward”. Then they are warned about how to deal with laziness…by confronting with care.

2 Thessalonians 3, The Message
Those Who Are Lazy
3 1-3 One more thing, friends: Pray for us. Pray that the Master’s Word will simply take off and race through the country to a groundswell of response, just as it did among you. And pray that we’ll be rescued from these scoundrels who are trying to do us in. I’m finding that not all “believers” are believers. But the Master never lets us down. He’ll stick by you and protect you from evil.

4-5 Because of the Master, we have great confidence in you. We know you’re doing everything we told you and will continue doing it. May the Master take you by the hand and lead you along the path of God’s love and Christ’s endurance.

6-9 Our orders—backed up by the Master, Jesus—are to refuse to have anything to do with those among you who are lazy and refuse to work the way we taught you. Don’t permit them to freeload on the rest. We showed you how to pull your weight when we were with you, so get on with it. We didn’t sit around on our hands expecting others to take care of us. In fact, we worked our fingers to the bone, up half the night moonlighting so you wouldn’t be burdened with taking care of us. And it wasn’t because we didn’t have a right to your support; we did. We simply wanted to provide an example of diligence, hoping it would prove contagious.

10-13 Don’t you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” And now we’re getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep. Friends, don’t slack off in doing your duty.

14-15 If anyone refuses to obey our clear command written in this letter, don’t let him get by with it. Point out such a person and refuse to subsidize his freeloading. Maybe then he’ll think twice. But don’t treat him as an enemy. Sit him down and talk about the problem as someone who cares.

16 May the Master of Peace himself give you the gift of getting along with each other at all times, in all ways. May the Master be truly among you!

17 I, Paul, bid you good-bye in my own handwriting. I do this in all my letters, so examine my signature as proof that the letter is genuine.

18 The incredible grace of our Master, Jesus Christ, be with all of you!

What do we learn?
–Don’t get annoyed, sit down and talk it over in a caring manner.
–Don’t treat them as an enemy, holding a grudge for them.
–Ask for help.
–Get along with EVERYONE at ALL times.
–God will be with us. A promise that will not be broken.

Dear Heavenly Father, We repent of the times we were lazy and just gave up when there was still work to be done. We repent of holding grudges instead of asking for help. We thank you for always being with us, through the good times and bad, for loving us deeply and for your amazing patience with us. Continue to go with us this busy day. In Jesus Name, Amen

Colossians 4

I am reminded of an old hymn that crosses my mind from time to time, especially when I used to clean bathrooms at the church…”We Work ‘Til Jesus Comes”….Smiling….

O land of rest, for thee I sigh!
When will the moment come
When I shall lay my armor by
And dwell in peace at home?
We’ll work till Jesus comes,
We’ll work till Jesus comes,
We’ll work till Jesus comes,
And we’ll be gathered home.

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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