Warning Against Idleness
But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.
For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.
But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
Last December, Donzella Washington walked across the stage to receive her bachelor’s degree in social work at Alabama A&M University. She graduated magna cum laude. At eighty, she became A&M’s oldest graduate. “Even though there were a lot of tears and late-night studying at 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning, I was determined. I never felt like quitting,” she said. Now Donzella plans to work on her master’s degree and volunteer at nursing homes.
We should guard against the desire to quit. Sometimes we grow weary in the work, but we should never become weary of the work the Lord gives us to do. Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Hebrews 12:3 warns against becoming “weary and discouraged in [our] souls.”
God has done so much for us. We should never become weary in doing good for Him. Make up your mind to stay enthused, determined, and active in whatever task God gives you today. Never grow weary in doing good. It’s always too soon to quit.
Can we be casual in the work of God—casual when the house is on fire, and people are in danger of being burned?
~ Duncan Campbell
We ought to pray continually that Christ’s touch may be upon us and upon the things we are doing.
It is instructive to think of the responsibility of the disciples that day. If they had merely fed themselves with what Jesus gave into their hands, the hungry thousands would not have been fed.
It is just as important that we, into whose hands Christ gives the blessings of the gospel, shall pass them on to those who are round us. If we only feed ourselves, take the comfort and the grace for our own lives, and do not pass on the broken bread, we have disappointed Christ and have failed in our duty as His helpers and co–workers.
Or if the disciples had begun feeding the people with what they had, without bringing it to the Master, it would not have gone far. We must bring our paltry resources to Christ, and put them into His hands. When we have done this, no one can tell the measure of good which may be wrought.
Prior to this verse Jesus had performed a miracle by feeding thousands with only a bit of food. His immediate reaction is to draw away to pray and rest. Praying has a way of filling you up with energy, restoring, and recharging. It’s very important if we have intense schedules or physically demanding duties, we take time to reconnect with God and restore ourselves. If you are able, take today to draw away, in order to draw close to the Lord. If today isn’t possible, plan a day this week to do this.
LOVE WITH HIS LOVE
John 3:16; 1 John 4:7-8, 11, 19
In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You
In times when you struggle to love a “difficult” person, may God remind you of His awesome love for you. May you remember God’s great love for you that even while you were a sinner, He did not give up on you. I pray that when you recall God’s love, you will not withhold your love for others, for He sent His one and only Son to die for you, that you may have eternal life. May you know that you can love, because God first loved you.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
God Finished His Work
He who has begun will carry on the work which is being wrought within my soul. The Lord is concerned about everything that concerns me. All that is now good, but not perfect, the Lord will watch over, preserve, and carry out to completion. This is a great comfort. I could not perfect the work of grace myself. Of that I am quite sure, for I fail every day and have only held on so long as I have because the Lord has helped me. If the Lord were to leave me, all my past experience would go for nothing, and I should perish from the way. But the Lord will continue to bless me. He will perfect my faith, my love, my character, my lifework. He will do this because He has begun a work in me. He gave me the concern I feel, and, in a measure, He has fulfilled my gracious aspirations, He never leaves a work unfinished; this would not be for His glory, nor would it be like Him. He knows how to accomplish His gracious design, and though my own evil nature and the world and the devil all conspire to hinder Him, I do not doubt His promise. He will perfect that which concerneth me, and I will praise Him forever. Lord, let Thy gracious work make some advance this day!
“Should I ransom them from the grave ? Should I redeem them from death? O death, bring on your terrors! O grave, bring on your plagues! For I will not take pity on them.
~ Hosea 13:14 [NLT]
This passage foreshadows Jesus victory over death! When we have Jesus we no longer have to be afraid of the ending of our lives. We know that we will live again with Him in Heaven. Give thanks to Jesus for dying for us so that we can be free from the terror of death.