Awaken Church, today is Monday, September 24th. It's a beautiful "fall" day, the sun is shining, and everything is all right in the world because out God is still in control. I pray you have a wonderful week, you put your trust in the Lord, and believe that He is Lord.
Today's devotion comes from 2 Thessalonians 3:11-15. The Scripture reads, "For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such person we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother."
As a pastor I see many people come and go through church. Often times, I find, the issue isn't the songs being sung, the way someone was or wasn't made to feel as a guest or member, or even the preachers preaching. Often times, people don't commit to a body of believers because they are too busy or they lack spiritual discipline. Now the earlier excuses are easier to give but the truth of the matter is, those that are too busy in life and are not honoring the Sabbath are going to disregard God's command to be in church and to share in the fellowship of believers. It saddens me to find so many in our churches today choosing to fill their lives with more of the world and less of God. It saddens me that we do not, in this day and age, recognize the incredible value of being together as believers. There is no greater time, than the present, that we should be coming together as the church (not our church alone but ALL churches as one body) to help the believer grow in faith and to be a light for the lost and hurting.
The writer of 2 Thessalonians is encouraging us to be about our work but not to the point of being busybodies. He also encourages us to never grow weary of doing good. For some, we become so preoccupied in our own work and the day to day tasks that we fail to do good for ourselves (personal reflection, attending and participating in church service, and time with God) and for others (service, giving, volunteering, encouraging those by attending fellowship). We supplement the prior with a later excuse of doing good for others when all the while, we need to be fed ourselves.
I struggle with verse 14 on not having a part to do with that person who does not obey the letter of God. My shepherding heart wants to plea for their return to the fellowship, to encourage them to pick up their cross and walk with me for the call and mission of Christ, and to help them to see the greater vision for serving the Lord. But I am called not to implore, but to pray. I am called to give to the Lord and allow Him to work. I am called to love and to trust. For this person, in knowing the Lord, is my brother and sister in Christ. And love, especially God's love for us, is a most powerful thing!
I want to challenge you today to be about your work in a way that honors the Lord. To give the Lord your VERY best this week. Whatever your occupation and work, do it for Him and not for man. Work in a way that brings honor to the Lord. I also want to challenge you, for those who have been away from the body for sometime, to ask the Lord to affirm in your heart a desire and passion for worship and fellowship. The body suffers when you are away. May I encourage you by telling you, "The Lord loves you and He misses you. We all do!"
In continuation of this study read Deuteronomy 5:12-15, Philippians 2:12-18, Acts 2:42-47. Read, reflect, and apply to your life. Ask the Lord to speak to you through this study and the Scriptures and to grow you spiritually.
Many blessings and love,