March 18, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship
America was founded on the idea that by hard work and industriousness anyone can advance their life. It has been considered the “Puritan work ethic”. Paul would have been a good Puritan because he advocates for Christians to be hard workers and living quiet lives. This Sunday we conclude our time in 2nd Thessalonians looking at “Slackers and the Christian Work Ethic” and see how Paul deals with the final issue in the church at Thessalonica in 2nd Thessalonians 3:6-18. Don’t be a slacker, be in church at 8:45!
Word On Worship – March 18, 2012 Download / Print
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
“For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.”
Have you ever read a passage of Scripture you were sure meant something to generations gone by but somehow have lost the connection with the 21st century? After all, who only eats bread or relies on the monthly support of the church to get by? Surely that would have significance in the life of a first century church and those who lived on the margins of society, but what does that mean for us today in a relatively wealthy nation and community?
Unlike the Old Testament, New Testament church ministry is not carried on by the priestly order of Levites. Nor is the work of ministry carried on by paid professional clergy. In the New Testament church, the work of ministry is to be done by every believer regardless of finance, education or daytime occupation. And if we do not do the work of ministry God has called us toward, the church suffers. The reality is you can never hire enough staff to do what God has called the church to do as the church.
Consider what the Scriptures teach about the exercise of spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. God uniquely empowers every believer to take on a particular ministry in the body of Christ. But what happens when you decide not to do the job God has equipped you to do? Sure, it can be passed down the line to someone else. The ministry can be curtailed or even cancelled because of lack of interest. But if you do not do the job God equipped you to do, understand there is no one else God has equipped like you to do that job. If you fail to work at your task in the church, the entire church suffers because of it.
So what is the work God has given you to do for this church? It does not have to be inside these walls, but there is a job for you to do for God. What has God uniquely given you to do that if you do not apply yourself it will not be done the way God wanted to do it through you? If you can’t name a job you do, then you are unemployed for God. In that case you need to get a job, in the church, using the spiritual gifting God has given you. There are always people working overly hard because other Christians are not doing their job. May such a thing not be said of us at Sunrise.