God’s protection through faithfulness
Scripture reading for June 23rd: 2nd Thessalonians 3
Key Scriptures: 2nd Thessalonians 3:3-8 “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. Now we command you, brothers, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and burden we worked night and day that we might not be a burden to any of you.”
Paul closed this second letter with encouragement and warning to the believers. He was confident in the Lord that the believers would follow Christ Jesus and obey His Word as taught by Paul and the elders. He prayed that the Lord would direct their hearts deeper into the love of God and the steadfastness of Jesus Christ Himself. Paul had preached Christ and also set an example of faithfulness and love for these brothers and sisters. He had provided for his own needs and those of the ministry team by working and providing for their needs, even though he could have taken offerings and assistance. He asked these believers to imitate his example. Then he warned them to avoid those who were idle and living off others. This temptation came from the evil one and lead to other sins. Some of these used the pretext that Jesus was coming soon. This is not how believers are to wait for Christ’s return. We must be about the Master’s business and work to provide for our needs.
2nd Thessalonians 3:10-11 “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your example of active ministry as well as this record of Paul’s life and work ethic. Help me to imitate Your example and work at providing for my needs and also having abundance to give to Your work. May my example inspire others and lead them deeper in the love of God and the steadfastness of Your Word, which will protect them from the evil one.
Proverbs 24:30-31 “I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.”