By your toil you shall be prospered and be happy all your days.
—Psalm 128:2, The Psalter 1912
Though today is a day of rest, the Scriptures we read and the hymns we sing this morning have a whole lot to say about work. This morning’s passage from 2 Thessalonians contains an encouragement to “not grow weary in doing good” (v. 13) and a warning against falling into idleness (v. 6). This reminds us of Paul’s admonition in Colossians 3: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” In the hymn Awake My Zeal, we’ll prayerfully ask the Lord to kindle our passion to “serve my Savior here below.” We’ll encourage one another to go “in duty’s path,” working at our callings in faith and hope (O Put Your Trust In God). The service closes with a final proclamation that we go forth to pursue our daily labor in the Lord’s name (Forth In Thy Name), that all our works might be filled with His presence. We serve a God who promises to prosper the work of our hands (Psalm 90:17): no matter how lofty or lowly our calling, it is “fruitful labor” to glorify His name. —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Command, Idle, Toil, Labor, Work, Earn
Keystone Verse: As for you brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:13)
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 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. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 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. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.