May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.
May the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all! (2 Thessalonians 3:5, 16 NASB)
What beautiful thoughts and blessings! These are lovely words written by Paul to the church of Thessalonica. He must of thought very highly of them.
But if you notice there are two verses here and ten verses between the two that I haven't printed.
If you read those other ten verses you will see that Paul is addressing a problem that he sees happening in this particular church. The sin of idleness.
The first century Christians believed that Jesus was going to return very soon. So soon in fact, that they stopped working and continued to meet house to house, waiting for Him to return.
But because they weren't working, (idleness) they had no means to support their families and began to count on the church for support.
The Greek word used here is, periergazomai. Peri means "around" and ergazomai, means to work or labor. So they were actually "busy" going in circles. Or busy doing nothing.
Paul had apparently already written to them about this particular thing once. But they said, "Jesus is coming soon."
They were so concerned with "being with each other" that they became idle and "lazy" in the work of expanding the Kingdom. They became undisciplined and this led to sin.
When I read this last night, I realized that I am guilty of this very thing. Lord, have mercy.
Lord, I sincerely want to be pleasing. I desperately want others to see and experience Your love. Lord, please rescue me from idleness and carelessness, and all things that distract from Your true work. Please Lord, direct my heart into Your love and Christ's steadfastness. Please, give me peace that only You can give. And please, help me to live a disciplined, fruitful life and not give way to undiscipline and idleness, which leads to many sins.
In Jesus' precious name, Amen