Thursday, March 10, 2011

Don't be a lazy mooch!

We all have certain people we trust and can count on; but even with that being true, we can not always count on someone 100% of the time. Circumstances outside of their control may prevent a friend from being there when you need them. However, we can always count on Jesus. When you belong to Him, He will never leave you or forsake you. As we get closer and closer to the end times, evil will continue to grow more and more intense; as such, we need to be protected from Satan, or we will be devoured:

2Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

1Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

In addition to this protection, The Lord will also direct your hearts when you are walking the walk and talking the talk. When we continue in obedience and faith we can pray for this guidance and be confident in prayer that He will honor the request.

2Thessalonians 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.

This next command is very difficult to consider. As I read it and re-read it I was curious how many times Paul used the word “command”.  So I did a word search through Paul's epistles. Many theologians aren't sure who wrote Hebrews; however, there is a large school of thought that insists Paul did; so with Hebrews included, the word “command” is used by Paul 9 times. One of those nine times is in 2Thessalonians when Paul commands them not to keep company with those who claim to be brothers in Christ, yet continue in disobedience:

2Thessalonians 3:6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.

A second use of the word is also in this chapter in regard to laziness:

2Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

Apparently both of these issues were a big problem and Paul uses the word “command” a third time in the same chapter in response to those that were not only disorderly, disobedient  gossips; but they were also lazy mooches:

2Thessalinians 3:11-12 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.

It is interesting how Paul follows these statements up in verse 13. As I read this I started thinking, “yes, sometimes it is discouraging when you are doing 'the stuff' and efforts are seemingly in vain.” Paul makes it clear, DO NOT TIRE OF DOING 'THE STUFF':

2Thessalonians 3:13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.

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