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Daily Devotional in II Thessalonians 3
Today, especially among Christians, there is a desire to feed and meet the needs of those that do not have. In some instances there is more of a concern to feed and clothe people than there is concern for their souls. Paul, however, shed a different view on such a practice of helping others. He said plainly, “… that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (vs. 10). That would shut down welfare and other the government hand-outs, very quickly! Our modern idea of welfare is not biblical and healthy for any person or society.
We have so many today that can, but will not, work. Their hand goes out for someone to help them when, in too many instances, they will not do for themselves what they could. They are willing to take someone else’s money to meet their needs, rather than work to provide for their own.
Immediately, there are angry voices justifying others’ refusal to work. “Well, there are many that can’t find work now!” I agree; it is rough. I know the feeling. I have had a hard time myself, finding work, but still it is my responsibility to provide for my family and not others. While, I was waiting for the right position, I could still do “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do …” (Eccl. 9:10), even if it meant flipping hamburgers for minimum wage. I can also verify what the Psalmist said in Psalm 37:25: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” God can met the needs of those that call on His help.
The same angry voices justify, “There are some that cannot work!” Yes, that is true; but where in the constitution, or any country’s laws, is it written that citizens have to pay for others’ needs and wants. There is usually something one could do to earn some income. Not working, and making it easy for one to still have their needs and wants met is not really helping them. It is encouraging further slothfulness, and making people more dependent on others’ paying their way than their seeking God’s help and strength to be able to work. Many truly handicapped people still work for a living. They may not be able to do what they would like to do to earn money, but they are doing what they can without being on the dole.
Paul understood what happens to people’s character and lifestyle when they do not work. He even set the example (vs. 9) for the right type of work ethic. He worked “night and day” for the cause of Christ, and although he could have gotten financial support without the work, he would not. Paul practiced what he preached.
The preacher also commented on the character of some that did not work. It seems his experience with them was that, perhaps because they had so much time on their hands, they spent that time getting into everyone’s business (vs. 11). He advised that lot to get a job, and to be quiet!
Work is good, and it is encouraged all throughout the Word of God. From the beginning, God worked six out
of seven days. Adam worked in the Garden of Eden.. The Biblical characters that God used the most all had professions. Even Paul, when he was not preaching, mended tents. While we can, we need to work. When we work we also need to put aside finances for when we cannot. When it does come time that we cannot work, God will provide what we cannot.
Today’s Thought: “Even the animal world works while they can, and stores up for when they cannot” — Barbara Brinkworth
Today’s Reading: II Thessalonians 3
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
6 ¶ Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after thethe tradition which he received of us.
7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
16 ¶ Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (KJV)