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Date: October 19

Category: Hard Work and Diligence

2 Thessalonians 3:12
"Now we charge and exhort such persons [as ministers in Him exhorting those] in the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) that they work in quietness and earn their own food and other necessities."

Slobodan & Ljiljana KrstevskiPaul was only in Thessalonica for about three weeks and during that short time, he established a church there. But after he left Thessalonica, he heard that some of the believers there misunderstood the Lord's coming. They thought that since the Lord was going to return, there was no need for them to work. So in this letter, Paul addresses that issue. In verse 11 we read, "Indeed, we hear that some among you are disorderly [that they are passing their lives in idleness, neglectful of duty], being busy with other people's affairs instead of their own and doing no work." In other words, they were involved with other people's business and did nothing to provide for their own necessities.

But in verse 10 Paul writes, "For while we were yet with you, we gave you this rule and charge: If anyone will not work, neither let him eat." So if anyone is not willing to work, then he does not deserve to eat. We should not be expecting things to be handed to us, particularly if we are healthy and capable of working. When there are work opportunities around us, whether they are high paying or low paying jobs, we should still work in order to provide for ourselves. That's what Paul is saying here.

This is something that all parents should teach their children. Parents should help their children until they come to a point where they can work to provide for themselves. Once they finish their education and are able to work, then they should pay all of their own bills. All the necessities that they have should be paid for themselves. If they are unwilling to work, then they shouldn't eat.

In some cases, there are disasters that destroy houses and job opportunities such as hurricanes and wars. When that happens, it is understandable for people to be in need. That is the time that we should help those people by giving them food, clothing, medicine, etc. It is appropriate to help others during such times. But you shouldn't help anyone who's not willing to help themselves.

But in this letter that Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church, we are given a picture of church people who are capable of working and yet they don't work. Instead, they occupy themselves in other people's affairs, not providing for their own necessities. Paul says that that behaviour is disorderly and isn't how Christians should act. Christians should work for their own living. Actually, Christians should be the hardest working people out there.

But there are some people who expect to be successful in life without working. Joshua 1:8 says, "This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success." Some may interpret that to say that if you read the Bible, then you'll become prosperous. But it says here that we are to read the Word of God and meditate upon it so that we will observe and do everything that it says. Doing the Word of God takes action and work. Then it says, "For then YOU shall make your way prosperous." So our prosperity comes through our own hard work and diligence.

In Deuteronomy 28:8a it says, "The Lord shall command the blessing upon you in your storehouse and in all that you undertake." So notice that God will bless you, but you need to have a storehouse and you need to undertake something, meaning YOU have to work. In Deuteronomy 8:18 it says, "But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day." So God gives us the power to create wealth but we are the ones who actually create it, and we do that through our work.

So it is impossible to become successful in life without work. Success only comes before work in the dictionary. It doesn't come before work in real life. So just as Paul teaches us in this passage in 2 Thessalonians, we as Christians should work in quietness and earn our own food and necessities rather than be occupied in other people's affairs. Let me finish with Titus 3:14, "And let our own [people really] learn to apply themselves to good deeds (to honest labor and honourable employment), so that they may be able to meet necessary demands whenever the occasion may require and not be living idle and uncultivated and unfruitful lives." That is what is appropriate for us to do as Christians. We are not only to supply for our own needs but to be able and willing to help others in need as well.

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Devotionals Categories

» After Repentance
» Divine Healing
» Faith Expressed Through Actions
» Follow God
» God Answers
» God's Plans
» Godly Character
» Hard Work and Diligence
» Leadership
» Marriage and Relationships
» New Life in God
» Prosperity
» Satisfied in God
» Setting Goals
» Sow and Reap
» Strength in God
» The Goodness of God
» Trust in God
» Wisdom and Understanding

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