garbage collector for Jesus

SCRIPTURE: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18

OBSERVATION/APPLICATION:

  1. Maybe some of the believers were just lazy, or maybe some of them were so expectant of Jesus’ immediate return that they figured there was no need to work. Maybe some of the leaders assumed that the common people should support them (that’s happened in history before). Whatever the reason, Paul challenges the believers not to be idle. “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
  2. Paul’s example was not JUST doing physical labour, but also working to support the spreading of the message. To “live according to the teaching” is not just a good work ethic, it is the challenge to give ourselves fully to the mission, wherever we work. Lazy and idle people do not present the message of Jesus well.
  3. The work of a Jesus follower, and our daily occupation, are not separated, they belong together. In fact, our daily vocation (from Latin, ‘calling’) is precisely where we are to follow Jesus, to imitate Paul’s example, to know and show the love of Jesus. We do not work hard for the money, nor just for the sake of working, but we work hard out of gratitude for our abilities and opportunities, and out of a desire to demonstrate the way of Jesus in what we do and say.
  4. For too long an unhealthy distinction has been made between sacred and secular callings. There is no such thing as a secular calling, all callings and occupations are to be sacred, holy, set apart for the Lord, for the purpose of drawing others to see and hear the way of the Lord. In some ways, my task is less effective, because it can be separated from the real world. Maybe like Paul, I need to become a tent-maker.
  5. Fishers of men. Jesus identifies the normal occupation of Hi first disciples, and trains them to turn it into a holy calling. Garbage collector for Jesus! Assembly-line worker for Jesus! Maid for Jesus, teacher for Jesus, driver for Jesus, politician for Jesus, police-officer for Jesus, farmer for Jesus! Heeding Paul’s words, we should work hard and not be idle, but what we do should be for Him, according to His purpose, for the advance of the kingdom.

PRAYER:
Lord, reconnect me to the real world, help me to live and work and play and rest with You in the world, and not live an ivory tower faith, expecting the church to take care of my needs.

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