Text: II Thessalonians 3:1-15

Verses 12-13, “Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”

According to these verses, God commands us not to be idle, but to be busy in the duties to which He has called us—not only for the work’s sake, but that we may eat of our own bread, earned by our honest labor.  What a pitiful thing for a man to live off the work of someone else when he is able to work for his own livelihood! The Bible is very clear in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

Sometimes we see able-bodied men become lazy or extravagant and involved in sin because of idleness. They become a disgrace and discredit their families, church, and society.  The blessing is that God has a cure for such, and the cure is work.

In the last part of verse thirteen, He speaks to those that are weary in well doing. He says, faint not, as in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

In other words, do not get weary of your duties in serving and become idle, but take care of all duties faithfully, whether secular or sacred. The idea is that we are not to be, as one put it, “cowardly,” or discouraged when helping those in need. Some of these people Paul is speaking of would not work but spent their time meddling in their neighbors’ affairs and depending on them for help. We need to be careful of such people, but not become discouraged and fail to help others.

It is a blessing to know that God always does what is good and best for us. Jesus “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). We, too, ought to be busy doing good, and if we are going to be weary, it ought to be of the things for self, not for the Saviour. What should we do when things are not going well?  Most of us get weary or worn out. D. L. Moody put it this way: “I get weary in the work, but not weary of the work.”

This has been my philosophy over the last fifty years. I may get weary or tired, but I never tire of serving God. The question is, “What should we do when we get worn out or weary?”

I. WORK ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF GOD, verses 1-4.

Let God use you the way you are—with or without a vibrant personality, of great character or not, gifted or not, talented or not. Allow the Lord to make and shape you because you will grow weary in your work if you try to fit into or follow someone else’s mold. 

God made you the way you are, so let Him use you the way He made you. This does not mean that you cannot learn from others, but do not try to be like another—be Christlike and follow someone who is following Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

II Thessalonians, chapter two concluded with the fact that believers should be established in the Word of God. In Chapter three, Paul says that there are certain responsibilities we have as believers to“walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1).In verse one he says that the Word of God enables us to walk before the wicked world because the Word of God establishes us in our walk. I am really troubled when I think that people who claim to believe the Word of God give little attention to it.

Christians must be established in the home, in church, as well as in their work. Our homes are in trouble; our church is in trouble, and the lives of believers are in trouble because we are not established in the Word of God. How can those that are living in such a fast-paced and changing culture be established in the Word of God?—By coming to the Word of God and allowing It to have Its influence in our lives.

Someone said, “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” I believe, everything God does, He does through His Word.

II. WALK IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, verses 5-7.

The Christian is to walk in the love of God.  The only way to walk in the love of God is to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit because only the Spirit of God can make His love real to us.

Remember that love is a fruit of the Spirit for we cannot naturally love every person who crosses our path.  Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Notice that God first mentions love, and all the other qualities are products of love. It is for that reason we must be careful to whom we say, “I love you,” because it must be sincere and said with good judgment.  For example, it says in verse six that we are not to walk with one who is disorderly, and in verse seven, God makes it very clear whom we ought to follow.

We have all heard the expression, “birds of a feather flock together.” Another way of saying it is that we will always be like the crowd we run around with. We need to be very careful of the company we keep.

III. WITNESS IN YOUR WORK OF GOD, verses 8-15.

The Thessalonians were walking in the Spirit, and they were being persecuted for it. Paul comforts them and lets them know he is going through that as well. Notice in verse ten that a Christian who is looking for the Lord to return is not a dreamer, but a worker. Since much of this letter has to do with Jesus’ coming again, Paul gets very practical by saying that we are to work and be a witness while we wait.

In verse eleven, there are some working not at all, but are busybodies. They were not interested in getting out the Word of God but were busybodies. They were really making a nuisance of themselves and causing trouble in the church. It takes just one rotten apple to spoil the whole barrel.

Verse twelve does not sound very spiritual; however, it seems very practical.  Many problems in the average church would be solved if the busybodies and troublemakers would work with quietness and do something constructive. I have found that those who cause the most trouble usually do the least in serving and giving.  This was certainly true in the church of Thessalonica.

In verse thirteen, we see the wonderful blessing—Christians who are working for the Lord need not be weary in well doing.  Praise the Lord!


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Hans Nikoley, GSBC Professor

Bro. Nikoley emigrated from Germany to the United States with his family at age 13. He served full time in the Nevada Air National Guard for six years. At age 32, He was saved, and in 1977, he graduated from Bible College. He pastored for over 31 years, 27 of them at Pomerado Road Baptist Church in Poway, California. Bro. Nikoley has served at Golden State Baptist College in the Bible Department and also as the Student Employment Director since 2007. He and his wife Mary have two children and have been married for 58 years.