never get tired of doing good
Pastor Steve With
Week 11, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18
Impact Christian Church, 03/08/2015
I. Life in Ministry
How many Christ Followers are in Ministry? Okay, I’ll ask in a different way. What percentage of people who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior are in Ministry? Okay, last try to see if you get this. Is it possible to be a Christian, or Christ Follower as some like to call them, and not be in ministry?
Okay since you all answered correctly and you know that every person who is a Christian is in ministry then let me teach you 5 Ministry keys from Paul for Life in Ministry.
Each of these points from Paul are communicating, what we need to “never get tired of doing good.”
A. Prayer (Connecting with God. Lifting up what is needed is essential for others and for yourself.)
“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer.” (1-2)
1. Pray for the Gospel Messengers
1) Paul, Silas and Timothy’s final words to the Thessalonians.
2) ’Pray, too’ – rescued from wicked/evil people.
2. Pray the Success of the Message
1) Message to Spread Rapidly: Make Progress, To Speed On…
2) Message to be Honored: Praised, Honored, Exalted…
“But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.” (3)
1. Why Trust God? He will Strengthen You!
* Trusting God for our strength is the basis for our lives
2. Why Trust God? He will Guard You from the Evil One!
* Everyday Satan and people who have chosen to live evil lives are trying to destroy and tear down Christ Follower. You may not feel it everyday…but it is there and the days you do feel it can really hurt emotionally and spiritually. We have to trust God when evil comes. Some like to rebuke the darkness or evil which I am fine with and Jesus does that in the Biuble, but I would rather ask Jesus for help. I like talking to Him way more than rebuking evil.
“And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. (4)
Paul has the desire for his people that they maintain a pattern of obedience.
* Doing what is Right…Obey the Word, Do what it Says.
…in do time you will find that it was the right decisions. In the the short time obeying the Word might seem trite or separatist, but in the long run it helps you build a great life in God. When everyone is doing what is fun and in and temporary…it is hard to say, no not for me I am going to obey my Lord in all things…but I have to say it pays off!!
“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.” (5)
1. Paul Prays, ‘May the Lord direct your hearts…’
a. Fully Understanding: without Obstacles, Clarity, …
b. Living in God’s Love/Patiently Enduring Struggle
“Living in God’s Love”…Probably means both His Love for Us and Our Love for Him
“But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.” 1 Corinthians 8:3
Patiently Enduring…that is a tough one.
The thought here is that Paul wants us to go down the path learning more and more how patient, how enduring Christ is over our sins and our problems and our struggles and even how greater we can understand his own endurance in his own struggles, and then consequently have a greater endurance of your own.
II. Life at Work
There are a lot of ways you can look at work, sort of a drudgery, a way to fill your wallet, a way to fulfill your ego, a way to fulfill your ambition, a way to accomplish some meaningful purposeful, as a way to serve people, but I guess if we were really to sort of sum them up, it might be a long time before we ever heard anybody say, ”I look at my work as a way to serve God.”
That doesn’t seem to be a fairly popular perspective on work, even among Christians, and, in fact, it should be. In spite of what most people might feel, work is one of the most honorable and noble things a Christian can do. In fact, in the very beginning, God established that man would earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, Genesis 3:19. Right after the fall, God said, “You’re going to work. You’re going to work your sustenance.”
On the other hand, Scripture has a lot to say about lazy people. Proverbs says, “Poor is he who works with a negligent hand.” It also says, “The soul of the lazy person craves but gets nothing.” It also says, “The lazy person doesn’t plow after the autumn, so he begs during the harvest and has nothing.” It says, “The desire of the lazy person puts him to death for his hands refuse to work.” And in Proverbs 24, the lazy person says, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,” and as a result, he’s destitute.
So what is a Christian view of work. Eusebius started a lot of this stuff in the fourth century, he was an early church father. He wrote that church ministry was primary and that work outside the church was secondary work. This led to a major movement of monasteries. This view and movement was changed by Luther and Calvin at the Great Reformation in the 16th century. Martin Luther said there is absolutely no difference before God, though there may be before men, between one who preaches the Word of God and one who washes dishes.
You see, our Christian faith has sanctified every occupation. There isn’t any difference between the secular and the sacred, there isn’t any at all. The church should remember that Jesus was a preacher for three years but a carpenter for at least 20. That sanctifies work. All of life is God’s. All of it is for His glory.
Here are some thing Paul challenges Christ Followers to learn about work:
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us.” (6)
…the obvious interpretation of that is they don’t work and, therefore, they’re these busybodies all over the place.
1. Paul has warned them about Work before.
2. If they won’t work or follow the Word, let them go…
Disfellowship – you don’t work? Make them feel it, make them feel the alienation. You say, “You know, if I was going to write an epistle and it was only three chapters long, I think I could think of a more important issue to deal with. I mean you mean this is a big deal?” It is. God has commanded us to work. It keeps people from being busybodies. It keeps people from being unnecessary burdens to the rest of the church community. It’s a serious issue.
“For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.” (7-9)
1. Paul, Silas and Timothy gave up the right to be paid, so they could be an Example of working hard.
– Those leaders has the right to be paid, but they set it aside. First Corinthians 9, those that preach the gospel should live of the gospel. What does that mean? If you preach the gospel, you should get your living from it. First Timothy 5: “Those who labor in the Word and doctrine are worthy of double pay.” Galatians 6: “The one who is taught shares with the one who teaches.” He had a right to it, but he said, “We didn’t use the right, in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, that you might follow our example,” end of verse 9. Getting paid for preaching the Word is good and write, but in Thessaloniki they needed to model hard work to be an example to those who don’t work at all.
ne, authoritative, revealed truth. If you don’t work, you don’t eat.
“Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.” (10-13)
With no job to do, they were taxing others, and they were making the ones they taxed resent them, and they were fiddling in people’s lives.
1. Divine, authoritative command… Don’t work, Don’t eat ! Paul had told them before and now he is saying this isn’t about me it is about following what God has told you. This a serious thing.
2. Stop running around, meddling, moving uselessly, go to work.
3. Begin an ordered life of quiet, consistent work, and “Do Good” The title of this message is never get tired of doing good.
“Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. (14)
1. Make note of those who Refuse this Letter
2. Disassociate with them so they Feel Shame
“Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister.” (15)
1. The Hope is that they will come around through our Love
2. All of the Warnings, Urging and Shame are to be in Love and Grace
III. Life with God
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation.” (16)
True Spiritual Peace is a deep, settled confidence that all is well in my relationship with God.
“May the God of peace be with you all.” Romans 15:33
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
“HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL. I DO THIS IN ALL MY LETTERS TO PROVE THEY ARE FROM ME.” (17)
1. This is Paul’s authentic writing, Don’t be Confused!
2. False teachers had made Forged Letters, Don’t Believe Them!
“May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” (18)
1. Grace is essential, not only for salvation, but also for endurance, service, growth and giving.
2. Christ Followers are called to live in Grace, love in Grace, and act Gracious.