Paul Worked

For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.
II Thessalonians 3:7‭-‬12 NKJV

Great Article about “Why Paul Worked”: http://www.bible-bridge.com/pauls-income-four-reasons-why-paul-worked-day-job/

Get to Work

For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
2 Thessalonians 3:7-10 ESV
http://bible.com/59/2th.3.7-10.ESV

“We worked night and day” and “if anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat” – Yes, this is the passage that my wife and I opened to for our devotional together this morning – immediately on the heals of yet another late night of work.

I have worked the past 3 weeks working through the nights on the weekends and taking calls almost every single night from work and I’m still there every day for first shift Monday through Friday. In fact, one of the weekends, I had an hour and a half of sleep Friday night and 3 hours Saturday night because of the workload.

Many look at the long hours that I put into my job at times and wonder how I can do it, or even why I would do it. And my answer is, there is a need, and it is in my ability to fill that need. Some of those same people might look at the time that I dedicate weekly to ministry – around 30 hours a week, and they may have the same question, why?

And the reason is the same, there is a need, and I am able to fill it.

Is it a heavy burden at times? It can seem that way if I’m not doing it for the right reasons – but not if I see a need, and I realize that I am able to help, and serve, and give of myself, to help others.

While many might throw accusations that I’m foolish and being used and manipulated and taken advantage of – I would say, if that is so, then am I not blessed to share in sufferings and trials with my Savior?

Isn’t the physical weariness of my long work week nothing beside the sacrifice my Lord and Savior made at the cross?

It encourages me to know that repeatedly the Word of God makes a differentiation between those religious leaders who lived off of the silver of those they oppressed with the law – and Christ the Good Shepherd (and His disciples) who came to serve the needy, to feed the poor, to work and provide for themselves and to help others. It encourages me when I have every urge and passion to spread this gospel to the ends of the earth, but I have no urge to stop working.

And do not take this as an attack upon those who are paid to preach the gospel. I have no fight with my brother, because that is between him and the Lord. We are not all called and used for the same purpose or in the same manner or during the same seasons of our lives. Even the Pharisees were used for God’s purpose when they persecuted Jesus Christ, because if all were perfect, who would there be left to lift Him up on the cross but imperfect me?

I’m just thankful for this blessed assurance that my Lord offers me, in such an encouraging Word just at the perfect moment, just on the morning when it is needed to strengthen me for the day ahead. I may have worked through the night and into the morning, and it may be time again to head back into the office and do this thing again – but I am strengthened by the Lord. And I am doing His work, not working for mere men.

There is a need. There is a great need. Both in your workplace and in the mission field.

Are you stepping forth to fill that need? Or sitting idle and still expecting to eat?

Get to work, friends. The time is short, the need is great, and your end will be upon you sooner than you might imagine.

Please don’t be satisfied with the words LAZY or IDLE or SELFISH even touching the thoughts or tongue of whoever will be giving your eulogy – if you would claim the name of Christ as the Savior of your life. He deserves a better testimony than that from us, friends. He deserves the words FAITHFUL SERVANT to be the undeniable evidence and testimony of our lives.

Bear each others burdens

Galatians 6:2 AMP
Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it]

PERSONAL COMMENTARY
———————————————

Yes,  sometimes it isn’t easy to endure someone else’s moral faults – but I try to remind myself how much people have forgiven me for in my own life.

At times, I find myself grumbling about what someone else is or isn’t doing at work,  home, church,  wherever – and it’s such a dark and dirty place to let my mind go to. So why do I even let it go there?

This is a struggle for me at times. And I ask myself,  at what point do I step in and do something about it?

And is the problem really the other person,  or is it my attitude? In some cases it is just my attitude,  but in other cases it is both. So I should fix my attitude first, then if my attitude is corrected and the problem still exists in the other person’s actions,  I should offer loving and gentle guidance if and when it is appropriate for me to do so.

But I have to fix my attitude first.

I’m really struggling with this. Especially when I see situations where multiple people are being negatively affected by one person’s actions, and where the attitudes of a group is being brought down by the actions (or idleness) of a few or of one.

Yes, sometimes our murmuring is justified from an early/worldly perspective when we are carrying the weight and one person knows but refuses to do their part, and it begins to affect the others if the disease is not either healed or cut out. Spiritually, I should be wondering how I can either heal it or cut it out the disease before it spreads even more death -,not grumbling about the person. However, knowing how to best do this isn’t always easy.

2 Thessalonians 3:7-12 AMP
For you yourselves know how it is necessary to imitate our example, for we were not disorderly or shirking of duty when we were with you [we were not idle]. Nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and struggle we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden or impose on any of you [for our support]. [It was] not because we do not have a right [to such support], but [we wished] to make ourselves an example for you to follow. For while we were yet with you, we gave you this rule and charge: If anyone will not work, neither let him eat. Indeed, we hear that some among you are disorderly [that they are passing their lives in idleness, neglectful of duty], being busy with other people’s affairs instead of their own and doing no work. Now we charge and exhort such persons [as ministers in Him exhorting those] in the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) that they work in quietness and earn their own food and other necessities.