GOD OF PEACE
God, I quiet my heart before You now… Speak to me.
Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6–18
Warning Against Idleness
6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching[a] you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
17 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:6 Or tradition
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAllow the words ‘Peace! Be still!’ (Mark 4:39, ESV) to be a command to you today.
Paul does not shy away from practical advice and the challenge of lovingly disciplining people who need it. He expects love to impact behavior and for leaders to model what they hope to see in those under their authority. What specific examples does he give in verses 6, 9, 11 and 14? What can we learn from Paul’s encouragement and teaching through these letters soaked in prayer?
Finally, Paul repeats his compelling refrain of grace and peace (16,18). These two powerful words express the dynamic, practical and transformative work of God’s presence in people’s lives. Paul trusts that the Thessalonians will experience this as they continue to be obedient to God’s call. The same is true for us today and for the church around the world.
Throughout these pastoral, gospel-centered letters, familiar themes have been highlighted and revisited: the importance of work; the need for practical instruction; the visible outcome of a Christian community increasing in love; the ability to know joy in suffering; the gospel message. Which themes resonate most with your current situations in life, family and church? Be encouraged that ‘the Lord of peace’ is with you in all things.
Reflect on the instructions, challenges, and encouragements in Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Identify one challenge and one encouragement to take forward from these readings.
God of peace, thank You for always being with me. Teach my heart to remember that truth.
Book and Author Intros
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