2 Thessalonians 3:10 (NLT) Even while we were with you, we gave you this rule: “Whoever does not work should not eat.”
1. Paul was not addressing those who were unable to work. Many of the new believers of the new church in Thessalonica had stopped working and serving to wait for Christ’s return.
2. These new believers, stopped planning for the future and became lazy and a burden to the church. They became troublemakers to other believers. As a consequence of not obeying God in every area of their lives, Satan led back to sin.
3. Paul could have reminded them of Jesus’ parable of the ten bridesmaids. (Mat 25:1-13) “So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return.” Jesus too warned of being idle to wait for His return, like five “foolish” bridesmaids did.
4. Like the bridesmaids who ran out of oil while waiting; we cannot remain idle in our service to God and still profess our spiritual preparedness. Our relationship with God is sustained through our growth from reading His word, fellowship with other believers, and engaging ourselves in His service and loving to each other.
I recall a time when I came to church and searched for that perfect pew, which was usually in the back. Much like a baby bird chirping with his mouth wide open to be feed by his mother, I became fat, lazy, and selfish in my inactivity. Then I attended a “Walk to Emmaus Christian” retreat; although the word “retreat” scarcely describes the life changing weekend experienced.
It was during this weekend, the Holy Spirit asked me, “What are you waiting for?” I was a Christian still sitting the bench. At times even putting myself on the “disabled list”, because what someone said, so that I didn’t have to leave the comfort of the bench, or nest. God let me know that weekend, I was created to be off the bench and in the game. God wanted me fully engaged in a relationship with Him.
I made a decision to grow up and leave the comfort of the bench, or nest. It was past time to feed myself through His word, read books, and get engaged in the church. In short fill my head and heart with Him.
Loving Father. Thank you for Paul’s candor about working for you to be fed. Thank you the parable of the bridesmaids. Please keep me filled with your word and Holy Spirit. Whenever you come, I’ll be ready. In your name I pray, Amen.