Thursday 14 November 2019

2 Thessalonians 3
Paul, so often considered stern, hard and uncompromisingly, hear shows how humble he was. He accomplished much for the Lord but never attempted to claim credit, always attributing all to God. He knew God called him for a specific purpose, and readily responded.

Everyone who truly accepts Jesus as Saviour for giving his life for them on the Cross, has done so because they were touched by God when he knew they were ready to answer his call. The whole initiative is with God seeking them to love him.

Now at the end of this Letter to the Thessalonica Church, which he founded, he is asking them to pray for him. Paul was however a realist and knew there were many people who would not accept the Christian faith, but it still grieved him that they rejected the Lord.

If we have turned to the Lord Jesus it is because we are the love of God, and know we cannot be beyond his love and care, and as the hymn states we can lean on those everlasting arms of Jesus which will provide all the security needed.

In our pressure filled world where there are so many nervous breakdowns, suicides, depressions and broken marriages, which are all due to turning away from God and his Church, such people have no adequate person to fall back on.

Paul did not like gossip for it can do so much harm. Relating stories about people and events can so easily get distorted as they are exaggerated when passed from one person to the next, as each person wants it to become more interesting. We should not pry into other people’s lives, let alone speak about them.

Paul wanted to have those who ignored his teaching to appear before the elders of the Church who are not in any way implicated or compromised by personal failure themselves, or who were looking for vengeance.  Rebuke and disciplinary action had to be with deep consideration and mercy.

As elsewhere Paul closes his Letter with his own signature to verify its authenticity. His Letters would be written on his behalf at his dictation, by someone well versed in writing. The final addition was to confirm his teaching, and to commend the Church to the mercy of God.

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