2 Thessalonians 3:13-15 – “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.”
Paul has just told them how they need to be living in regard to their work. He was speaking about idleness and how the believers must avoid living like that. He then urges them to not grow weary in doing good. It is a daily battle to follow God and live for Him, so Paul calls them to not quit. He tells them that they should not have anything to do with those who do not follow his teaching in this letter so that they would be ashamed. They should not regard them as enemies, rather they should warn them as a brother.
Sometimes it is completely draining to fully live in surrender to God. I think back to Jesus’ temptation, and the fact that angels ministered to him after he was tempted. I will be tested greatly as I strive to “do good” as it says in this text. Therefore I must not grow weary, and constantly seek God for strength. Another application is to lovingly warn any believers I know who are not living in submission to God. The best way to do this is in the context of a Christ-centered relationship because the person will respond better if they know my heart is genuine.
Lord, help me to not give up when it gets difficult to trust and follow You, and help me to be faithful in pointing others to You.
2 Thessalonians 2:15–17 (NLT) 15With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter. 16Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, 17comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
Paul explains some of the events that will happen before the second coming of Christ. In the last three verses of chapter 2, he then tells them how to make it through the difficult days of persecution to come. He says they must:
- Keep a firm grip on what they believe and have been taught.
- Remember what they have received in Christ.
- Constantly seek His comfort in all that they do and say.
In this day of controversy as the church is being ostracized for the misinterpretation of it’s teaching, we need to hear this instruction. We need to:
- Understand and firmly hold onto Scriptural teaching.
- Focus on what Christ has given us, not what the world wants to take from us.
- Seek the Lord and find our comfort in Him.
I will do those three things.
Highlight: 2 Thessalonians 1:5–10 (NLT) 5And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. 6In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you. 7And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, 8in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.9They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. 10When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him.
Paul is talking to the Thessalonians about how they should look at their persecution. Here are some things he tells them:
- God will use their persecution for two purposes:
- To show His justice by paying back those who are persecuting them.
- To make them worthy of His kingdom.
- God will provide rest to those being persecuted.
- God will judge the unbelievers.
- God will receive glory and praise from His people.
- Persecution comes from those who reject God and refuse to receive Christ.
- Persecution is used by God to show His justice and develop His people.
- Persecution brings judgment on those who persecute.
- God will bring rest to those who are persecuted.
I will seek to remember the purpose of persecution.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 – Do not quench the Spirit
At the end of his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul gives a series of short, imperative commands to those who read his letter. In v 19 he tells them not to quench the Spirit. What does that mean?
John Piper shed some light on this in one of his podcasts: He says that quenching the Spirit can mean at least four things:
- To despise the supernatural working of the Spirit and treat it with contempt.
- Some in the church at Thessalonica despised prophecy maybe because they saw it misused.
- Paul warns them not to become jaded and put all prophecy in the same category. So quenching in this context means having an attitude of contempt that writes things or people off before testing them as the verse says.
- To neglect the gift we have. 1 Tim 4:4; 2 Tim 1:6. If you have a gift from God, you are quenching the Spirit if you do not fan it into flame.
- To shut down your emotions when emotional expression of praise, etc., are called for. Eph 5:18-21
- To resist the fruit of the Spirit (Eph 4:30)
So, for me, quenching the Spirit means:
- Being cynical about things I am uncertain of and unwilling to test them with Scripture.
- Neglecting the Spiritual gift God gave me.
- Being self-conscious about expressing worship.
- Resisting the control of the Spirit that produces His fruit in me.
God help me to encourage the work of Your Spirit, not stop it!
H — I Thessalonians 4:17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. E — Paul was writing the people of the church in Thessalonica. He was encouraging them to look forward to what would come in the future. Those who followed Christ would be reunited with Him, and Paul wanted the people to encourage people with this thought and to share it with others. ;
A — Sometimes I can get so caught up on what is going on in the present. It is important to be concerned with things going on in my life right now. God has given us talents and abilities to carry out work right now, but the truth of the matter is that one day He will return, and we will be with Him in paradise. Maybe some things that I focus on, worry about, and pay too much attention to should not overwhelm my thoughts. Maybe the thoughts of Christ’s return should be at the forefront of how I live my life and what I share with others.
R — Dear Lord please help me to share with others this awesome truth. Help me to point people to you so that they may accept you as their Savior and spend eternity with you. Lord, we are looking forward to the day when you return and as the song says “even so come, Lord Jesus come….even so come!!”
H: v7 “for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith.”
E: Paul was so concerned with the spiritual welfare of the Thessalonians that he sends Timothy to check on and minister to them. When he returns to Paul, he explains that their faith continues very strongly and this encourages Paul greatly.
A: God’s will for each and every one of us is to touch other lives through sharing our faith with those around us. Our desire should be that of Paul’s, that we long to see others come to and grow in their faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.
R: Sometimes I wonder about God’s work here at our church, and what other people are facing. I get so encouraged when I hear reports from our people about the Discipleship that they are doing, or how their D-Groups have broken through so many barriers. It encourages me to be apart of this because God is blessing our obedience.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 – “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.”
Paul has been writing to the church at Thessalonica, and he was talking to them about his commitment to God and to them. He then tells them that he thanks God because when the Thessalonian church received the word of God, they accepted it as what it is, and not as the words of men. This was evident to Paul because he could see the work of God present in the believers’ lives.
I think the impact of verse 13 was there because of what Paul was talking about in the previous verses. He was referring to his faithfulness and testimony that was lived out in their presence, and that is one of the reasons why the Thessalonians received God’s word the way that they did. My life and testimony can have a huge impact on whether or not someone I share the gospel with responds in belief or doubt. I know that I do not have the power to save, but I know that I can hinder someone’s belief if I am unfaithful and hypocritical in my lifestyle.
Lord, help me to live a consistent life of surrender to You so that my life draws people to You rather than pushes them away from You.