Summary: 3 parts to this scripture: (1) Paul’s request of prayer from the church to God that God’s glory be manifest (2) a warning and instruction to follow the instruction and work, with your hands doing kingdom work as a model to others (3) Closing focused on peace, grace and accuracy
12. a. Brothers, we ask you to pray and praise God for the work he has given us, the joy of communion with a body of servants of Christ and the opportunity to teach and spread the message unto young children. Ask God to protect us from sickness and temptation to spend our team in anything other than that which brings glory to God. And pray for your own strength that we might rejoice in the Lord for his blessings to you.
b. The dads and moms in BSF who bring their kids
13. 2Thes 3:9 – Where in my life do I purposefully abstain from things that are fully within my rights simply to be a model to developing Christians? This is different than avoiding sin to be an example to others. It is sacrifice.
14. (Challenge) Rev 13 – In the first letter Paul encouraged the young church to remain focused on our ultimate joy, reunification in body and spirit with Jesus. He wanted them to understand that this is real and tangible and not some ethereal object. Having learned that they took this to the extreme and decided to get out the lawn chairs and wait idley for the show to start, he provided further instruction to get back to work, there are some things that will come first. The second did not change any of the key points of the first: stay focused, this is real and can occur on any day – but it also provided instruction on what to be actively doing in the interim.
I was sad that BSF skipped the entire section about work in the middle of chapter 3. I’m reading a book called Toxic Charity, which is akin to the book When Helping Hurts. Both point out that our current method of providing aid is dis-empowering of those in need and creates dependency instead of support. When we drop free food on a continued basis into an area, how can a farmer there make a living? Now, Paul was clear about the difference between will and can. Clearly the bible speaks to provide for those who do not have the ability to work. And it does not ever speak against helping a brother in need. But it does not teach us to take over and do all the work for those who are able.
More on this later, but I wish BSF had at least covered those verses with one question.