Saturday, March 11, 2017

Instructions for Living

These verses from 2 Thessalonians really stuck with me this past week. AS is often the case, once I read these instructions for living, they popped up again in my devotional and on Christian radio.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from very 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, or 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.  2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
So, in a nutshell, these are directions given to the Thessalonian:
  • Do not be idle, earn the food you eat. “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
  • Be busy, but don't be busybodies
  • Do not associate with anyone who doesn't obey these instructions
  • Don't regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.
These instructions still apply to us. Living in the world is hard. We are bombarded daily with truths of the secular world. TV, radio, print media all add to the saturation of ideas that the world claims are "okay." We must be constantly aware of these lies that delight Satan. Reading the Bible, praying and having Godly friends are daily necessities for us as we navigate through this troubling world. From the book of Ephesians we learn the marvelous hope that God gives us. He will triumph in the end, this life is temporary and don't worry about world leaders. He's got it covered, God has our back.
The part about not hanging around people who don't obey these instructions may be, at times, difficult, but for the most part, the people who are our friends, who we choose to socialize are believers who try to live in the Word. However, we do see others in the store, at work and elsewhere in our daily lives. That's a good thing because it gives us the opportunity to be one of Christ's shinning lights, to be an example.

Now the part about warning them has me wondering. That could be tricky to balance with the whole not judging others thing. Maybe it can be a subtle thing with those closest to us? The politically correct movement has definitely hampered discussions. It's something worth pondering. The path Christians are instructed to follow really is very straight and narrow isn't it?

Our dear Sister in Christ, Page shared this with us this week:
"We can't make people respond to the Gospel, 
but we can invite them to hear it, 
serve them so they can see it, 
and pray for them to receive it."
Taken from a NewSpring devotional titled: Dear God, Save People In This Place

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