2 Thesalonians 3
It was a time of hoping in the return of the Lord. Risk of complacency was high. Paul challenges the believers to remain focused.
Paul in his letters had this habit of praying for the believers (Eph 1: 15-18; Phillipines 1: 9).
Prayer defines the type & nature of a believer.
In II Thesalonians 3, Paul had 2 prayer items:
1. That the word of God spreads rapidly
2. That believers be rescued from wicked & evil people.
Spiritual growth is not just about reading the Word of God, it calls for prayer- seeking God’s face in all things.
Paul asks people to imitate their life. Three areas of their custom/tradition of life:
1. Gospel came with sound doctrine (Faithfulness in God’s Word)
2. Manifestation of power of spirit (Believe in supernatural working of God- miracles)
3. A redeemed way of life of a believer (Develop a right character)
In vs 6-9, he encourages them to work.
‘… nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, … (II Thessalonians 3:8 NKJV)
Three key elements about a healthy work ethic:
1. Attitude of work
Work is not a curse. It was there before the fall. It’s an act of stewardship. It’s beautiful. It creates new beautiful things. In working, it brings out the glory of God.
2. Motivation for work
Change attitude from working for self pleasure, enjoyment & success to working for God’s glory.
Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need (Ephesians 4:28 NKJV).
Stop/Move away from stealing time & resources to working hard to feed those under your care & those who are in need.
Christisn hardwork is best exemplified in generosity not accumulation of wealth.
Pour out your life as a blessing to others.
3. Practice of work
Strive for excellence
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, (Colossians 3:23 NKJV).
Do it unto the Lord, a reward awaits from the Lord.
Deliver value from your work. Glorify God in your work.
Paul warns that here is no reward for laziness.
For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat (II Thessalonians 3:10 NKJV).
Model in your workplace what it means to have optimal performance. Work unto the Lord.