NT Fire Starters – Day 290: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18
READ: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18
THINK: Do you like hard work? Or do you prefer to take it easy? While there’s nothing wrong with rest and relaxation, there is no place for outright laziness among God’s people. In fact, Christians should have a reputation as the hardest and most competent workers and employees. To people outside the church, there is hardly a better example of character and commitment than hard work. On the other hand, people with too much idle time on their hands are bound to cause trouble for themselves and for others. When it comes to getting things done and taking advantage of the opportunities God provides, work hard, focus on God’s priorities and let your actions speak for themselves.
RESPOND: Why is prayer so vital for the spread of Jesus’ message? (See 3:1 note.) In what way does prayer protect people from evil influences? (See 3:3 note.) What comfort do you personally derive from God’s faithfulness? Who are the “idle” individuals Paul refers to in verse 6, and why are we to avoid them? (See 3:6 note.) Why is laziness disgraceful for God’s people, and why is hard work important (vv. 8-10)? Who are “busybodies,” and for whom do they cause trouble? (See 3:11 note.) What instruction does this passage give these individuals, and how does this apply to all Christians? (See 3:12 note.) Why and how should we treat and warn those in the church who consistently refuse to obey the instructions of God’s Word (vv. 14-15)? How does the Lord “give you peace at all times and in every way” (v. 16)?
PRAY: Pray for ministries you know and work with, that they will be effective in spreading the message of Jesus and influencing others for Him. Give God thanks for His continual faithfulness to you. Pray that you continue to be faithful to Him and diligent in the work He provides for you.
ACT: Make every effort today to be diligent in your work–that includes your studies for school, chores at home, job responsibilities and ministry involvement. While you also need time to relax and refresh, don’t catch yourself being lazy. If you have time later, read or review the articles on Intercession, p. 1134, and Campus Missions Commitment to Pray, p. 1744. Better yet, take extra time to pray for specific people and ministries.