This Is Serious

The apostle Paul means business, and so should we.

2 Thessalonians 3 (5)

Pray Psalm 128.5, 6.
The LORD bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
Yes, may you see your children’s children.
Peace beupon Israel!

Read 2 Thessalonians 3.13-15.

Reflect.
1. What opportunities for doing good are before you today? How can you keep from growing weary of doing good works?

2. Paul seems serious about wanting us to obey his epistle. Why?

Meditate.
The proof of our salvation is not in vain speculations about the second coming of the Lord, nor merely in being involved in a local church. It’s not even in our confessing faith in Jesus.

The proof of our salvation is in the good works that issue from our revived souls. As we turn our minds to know the will of God in His Word, devote our hearts to loving Him and our neighbors, and make seeking the Lord’s Kingdom the top priority in everything, good works will flow by the Spirit into all our words and deeds.

But this doesn’t just happen. We have to work at it, and we must not allow ourselves to become bored or weary with this calling.

We’re always presented with opportunities for doing good, and for the Christian, there’s no off season. As often as we have opportunity, we must do whatever good we can, and resist the temptation to weary of doing good (Gal. 6.9, 10).

For some believers, doing good works at every opportunity may be more than they signed up for. But Paul means what he says. If we know believers who are not as serious as Paul about this matter, we are to admonish them, even to the point of not keeping company with them. The Greek word here (συναναμίγνυσθαι) refers to associating with people for any reason, whether as friends or working together on projects. People who will not work hard at doing good to and loving their neighbors will not be much use to the ministries of our churches, and they can also adversely affect us with their lackadaisical approach to the faith (1 Cor. 15.33, 34).

But just because we step back from associating with such people doesn’t mean we stop loving them. They are brethren in the Lord, and we have a duty to consider ways of stimulating one another to love and good works (Heb. 10.24). This begins with pointing out the obvious, that they’re not being obedient to the Word of God. Having accomplished this, we should pray for our complacent brethren and do whatever we can to stimulate them to take up the Kingdom-and-glory calling of doing good works to the glory of God.

Prepare.
1. Does Paul’s advice here seem harsh to you? Why or why not?

2. How would you approach admonishing a complacent brother in the Lord? What would you do to stimulate him to love and good works?

3. How can you tell when you’re getting weary of doing good? How can looking to Jesus help you to persevere?

Do not disconnect what is said here from what follows, where, having said, “have nothing to do with him,” he added, “do not look on him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.” Do you see how he urges us to hate the deed but love the person? John Chrysostom (344-407 AD), Homilies on First Corinthians 33.5

Give me strength for this day, O Lord, so that I may not grow weary of doing good, but will always…

Pray Psalm 128.

Commit your way to the Lord for this day, and all the work He’s given you to do. Ask Him to bring forth fruit for His glory from your labors.

Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 128 (Fountain: There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood)
How blest are they who fear You, Lord, who walk within Your ways!
Rejoicing in Your bounteous Word, they prosper all their days!
They prosper all their days, they prosper all their days!
Rejoicing in Your bounteous Word, they prosper all their days!

Their homes with happy children bloom who fear Your holy Name;
Their tables and their every room declare Your glorious fame!
Declare Your glorious fame, declare Your glorious fame!
Their tables and their every room declare Your glorious fame!

O Lord, from Zion send Your peace, and prosp’rous make our ways;
Thus may Your blessings e’er increase upon us all our days!
Upon us all our days, upon us all our days:
Thus may Your blessings e’er increase upon all us all our days!

T. M. Moore

Where do 1 and 2 Thessalonians fit in the unfolding of God’s covenant? Our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you understand the setting of all the books of the Bible, and how they fit into God’s unfolding plan of redemption. Watch the brief video introducing this course at The Ailbe Seminary (click here), then plan to register in our Certificate in Kingdom Studies program, featuring Introduction to Biblical Theology.

For more insight to our great salvation, check out the ReVision series that begins here.

If you value Scriptorium as a free resource for your walk with the Lord, please consider supporting our work with your gifts and offerings. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button  at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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Make Up Your Mind To Work

We're not saved by works, but we're not saved without them.

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