Gracious Lord, as I come to You now, please forgive any sin in me so I can worship You rightly.
Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18
 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 you received from us.  For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you,  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.  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.  For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”  We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.  Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.  And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.  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.  Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.  Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.  I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
ReflectWhat problem does Paul address? How does he address it?
In the current economic situation, many families are juggling several jobs to make ends meet, others are facing layoffs, and many who would dearly love to work cannot find a suitable job. Paul’s warnings (6,11-15) are not directed at people out of work due to circumstances beyond their control but, rather, at those who are able to work but unwilling to do so. From the outset, the church gave help and support to those in extreme need (Acts 4:34,35; 6:1,2). Sadly, some Thessalonian believers were abusing this support system. The problems in our churches may be different, but the way we deal with them, whatever the problems may be, has the potential to help us grow in holiness. Selfishness and disobedience left unchecked will damage the entire church. Paul challenged unholy behavior (6,12) and devised a strategy to help the community deal firmly but lovingly with it (6,14,15). It is dangerous to dish out discipline to others if our own lives do not model good behavior. Paul modeled holiness through his selfless hard work and his loving attitude (7-9). That only added to the authority with which he spoke.
When you speak about discipline to others (children, colleagues, etc.), does your life lend authority to your words?
Pray that the leaders of your fellowship and the wider church would be Christ-like in disciplining those in their care.
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