Today is our last day in this book of the Bible and we are left with such a powerful message. Let’s read it together:
Request for Prayer
3 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2 And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 4 We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
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.
What verse stood out to you? Take a moment to reflect on why you think this is.
Verses 1 to 5 were it for me. Like we talked about yesterday, it feels like the world we are in needs Jesus, bad, it’s constantly pushing back and fighting against his ways. In verse one what two things should we be praying for the message of the Lord? And not only praying, but as believers, taking action to make happen?
What do you see in verse 2 as our defense in this?
Prayer! Our application goes on to tell us that our main defense is prayer, but then continues with guidelines to help us against enemy attacks : “1. Take the threat of spiritual attack seriously 2. Pray for strength and help from God 3. Study the Bible to recognize Satan’s style and tactics 4. Memorize scripture so it will be a source of help no matter where you are 5. Associate with those who speak the truth 6. Practice what you are taught by sound spiritual leaders.”
Verse 5 shows us a prayer I think we can all pray all the time. We are always sitting with questions or decisions, and we are in a time where our faith in God is starting to get pressured to conform to the world, but we as believers know the truth, and this verse is a powerful one for us, we must first love God with all our heart, mind and soul so then our love can outpour onto others. Page after page in the New Testament we see Christ persevere. He was persecuted to death, and as he was on the cross, he still lived for the Lord, he asked God to forgive the people mocking Him and he gives salvation to one of the robbers on the cross beside Him. This is Christ perseverance, that despite the pressures we face, we still must persist in our faith.
Paul continues to talk about those who simply went idle because they thought Christ was coming back right way and it was better to just wait for him. But Paul reiterates that this just is not true. He is coming back, it’s a promise, but our job is not to just wait for him. Verses 7-10 show us this. And our application tells us “being ready for Christ means obeying him in every area of life. Because we know that Christ is coming, we must live in such a way that our faith and our daily practice will please him when he arrives.”
What is the final greeting from Paul?
I love that he ends this with the prayer/blessing of peace. When our lives feel pressured, chaotic and uncertain, the Lord’s peace is our comfort. “We are encouraged to continue living responsibly in spite of difficult circumstances. Christ’s return is more than a doctrine; it is a promise. It is not just for the future; it has a vital impact on how we live NOW.” (application)
Reflect on how you could work in an area of you life that may feel idle or maybe simply not giving it your all that you want Christ to come in and help you.
Heavenly Father, thank you for this second letter from Paul. Thank you for the encouragement to live for you despite the circumstances and what other people say, help us to cling to your truth and not sway against your word because the world is trying to tell us differently. We know you will keep your promise and that Christ will return some day, but help us to not lose fight, help us to fight for our faith and our beliefs and to come to you for our strength. Help us to recognize when satan is trying to build a wedge in our relationship with you and others, help us to find scriptures to memorize and keep tucked in our hearts and I pray you surround each and every one of us with other believers so we can be stronger together for your kingdom here on earth. We ask for your peace, the supernatural peace that only you can give, to fill us Lord. In Jesus name we pray, AMEN!