Christian Behavior

(2 Thessalonians 3:1-16)

Lesson 4 -- second quarter 1997
March 23, 1997

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications

Why work?
Have you made yourself an example today?

OK, you know by now that this is the place to be very candid with yourself. What is your answer to the first question above? No, I don't mean the nice philosophical answers we use sometimes. I mean the real life answers that keep you working hour after hour through those long days and weeks and months and years of heat, cold, fatigue, "self" denial and everything else. What keeps you focused? What do you anticipate doing with your earnings? Why can you hardly wait for payday sometimes?

Frankly, I often work simply because I haven't figured out another way to be able to pay bills and purchase the necessities for the family. I've discovered it's virtually impossible to maintain or upgrade vehicles, computers, houses, life styles, health and the like without first working. But isn't there more meaning and purpose to such a common endeavor?!

Ultimately, God wants us to work with our eyes set on advancing His kingdom here. We should not work with the compulsion to acquire more, but to move forward His mission here. But we must be sure to understand that advancing the Lord's mission on earth can take place in some pretty "ordinary" ways:

Minding our own business. God's work suffers great detriment when His people are meddlesome busybodies. And His work also suffers when Christians do not take care of duties and responsibilities that are entrusted to them. Verses 10-12 of the printed text clearly make work a Christian imperative.

Providing for our own. The father and mother that do not work to meet the needs of their family have their tent in the same campground with the sons and daughters that do not provide for needy elderly parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts. And that campground these choose is that of the traitorous Christian and the infidel. Check it out in your Bible!

Helping the needy. Needy Christians and needy unbelievers give us another good reason to work. God so graciously brings these people into our lives as opportunities to show our love for Him and our love for these people. He also blesses us with these opportunities so that we might serve Him in very practical ways. I challenge you to find the verses that make me say that.

Give directly to the work of the Church. Just one comment here. Imagine the boost to God's work if more of our money flowed more directly to it!

So rarely we live with example in view.

Oh, we want to be good examples alright. We ask God to make us good examples. And we might even appreciate someone telling us specifically how to be that good example. But how many of us live even one full day conscious of the example of everything we do, say and think?

Notice in today's lesson that some of the things Paul did, he did mostly because he wanted to be a safe example for others to follow. And sometimes he denied himself so that he might be that example.

Let's try it, shall we?

We begin by looking unto Jesus, Who is the beginner and completer of our faith. Then we live, striving to please Him first, and analyzing our words, actions and thoughts as worthy examples to others.

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