2 Thessalonians 3:6-14
Warning Against Idleness6In
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from
every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you
received from us. 7For you
yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we
were with you, 8nor 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.
9We did this, not because we do
not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you
to follow. 10For even when
we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not
11We hear that some
among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
12Such people we command and
urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.
13And as for you, brothers,
never tire of doing what is right.
14If anyone does not
obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate
with him, in order that he may feel ashamed.
You Have to Row
A parable of a man who had faith but declined to act.
A flood threatens a town, forcing everyone to evacuate, But Joe thinks, "I'm a devout man, God will save me," and stays put. As the waters rise, Joe's neighbor comes by and says, "Joe come with me, we've got to go." Joe declines, "I'm a devout man, God will save me."
The waters keep rising, Joe scrambles to his second floor. A firefighter in a rowboat comes by. "Get in the boat or you'll drown," he says. Joe again declines, saying, "God will save me."
Finally, the flood waters force Joe to his roof. A police helicopter comes by and throws down a rope. "Climb up or you'll drown," the policeman yells. "No, I'm a devout man, God will save me," Joe replies.
Soon, Joe drowns.
He arrives in heaven and challenges God. "Why didn't you help me?"
"What do you mean?" God says, "I did help. I sent a neighbor, a firefighter and a helicopter."
Debbie likes to tell those who are in need of help, "I can find you a boat
but you have to get in and row." Meaning, of course, that we need to work to
survive and to do God's will.
Faith without works is not the faith described in the new testament. Faith is
an action word. Yes, God promises that he will pour out his blessings upon us
when we truly demonstrate our faith. It takes work to demonstrate faith.
TAKE ACTION, DO THE WORK!
Paul wrote this to the Thessalonians because some Christians had taken the
message of Christ's imminent return so literally as to use it as an excuse to
wait and do nothing. I hear this all to often in many forms. People are waiting
to learn what God has is store for them. Yes, God will pour his blessings upon
us when we truly have faith but faith, as meant in the New Testament, is an
action word. Faith requires action. Waiting for God's blessings does not
Many have heard the old humorous story about the man, when faced with a
rising flood, refused to take action when he was offered many forms of help,
"No, God will save me." The message is: when there is a course of
action available to work for your survival, TAKE
ACTION, DO THE WORK!.
Just waiting for God, or the government, or your family, or your Church, or
the return of Christ will get you nothing. To receive the blessings promised to
those who have faith requires work. Take action and work hard in the faith that
God's blessings will come.
When someone just sits back, producing nothing for to contribute to their own
benefit, maybe even claiming that they are waiting for God to bring them what
they need; lovingly counsel your brother or sister in Christ that they need to
take action. Suggest a course of action that will help them or help them find
resources where they can get help. If your brother or sister still waits for God
to send them help, without taking action in faith; lovingly warn them that they
ACTION, DO THE WORK!. Be always in
love but remove yourself from the person until they are ready to
ACTION, DO THE WORK!