Tag: no work

Don’t become a busy-body!

Scripture reading for September 23rd:  2nd Thessalonians 3

As a result of a false view of Christ’s return, some in the church had quit their jobs to wait for His arrival.  As a result of idleness, they became a burden on others in the church and also began to gossip and cause division and strife.  Paul’s pastoral heart gave instruction to avert trouble.

“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.  For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example.  We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it.  On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.  . . . . For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule:  “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”   (2nd Thessalonians 2:6-10)  Paul was emphatic and used his own life among them as an example.  He had demonstrated the need to work and gave them a command to not associate with those who were idle.

“We hear that some among you are idle.  They are not busy; they are busybodies.  Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.”  (2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12)  Paul knew human nature and directed those in error to get back to work.  If they refused, Paul instructed the church to take note of them and not associate with them.  They were not to regard them as enemies, but warn them as brothers.  This action was for their ultimate salvation and restoration to fellowship if they repented.

Tags : , , , , , , ,

The year of Jubilee!

Scripture reading for February 10: Leviticus 24-27

In our culture, Golden anniversaries are special.  When a couple has been together 50 years there is always a celebration!  God also uses the 50th year as a special year, calling it the year of Jubilee!  It was a year of freedom and restoration for all of God’s people.  On the 50th year, debts were to be forgiven and property that was taken or bought from the original owner was restored.  On this year, no one was to work the land.  The land would be left to rest and whatever grew without any human effort was to  be used for food for the people.  It was a blessed time that the people looked forward to.  It pictured the reign of Messiah, when he would come and restore the fortunes and possessions of his people and vanquish their enemies.

The Jubilee was the culmination of 7 periods of 7 years.  After 6 years, the Israelites were to rest their land for a year.  God promised to provide enough for them in the 6th year to carry them through until the harvest of the 8th year.  There were to be 7 cycles of 7 years and following the 49th year, on the Day of Atonement, the priests were to sound the trumpet and announce the beginning of the Year of Jubilee! (Leviticus 25:8-10) What a joyous occasion!  God giving us a picture of his amazing restoration and rule of grace!

The problem was that the Israelites never took the Sabbath years every 7th year and they never did have a Year of Jubilee.  They knew about it because of Leviticus but failed to do what God asked.  When we fail to obey, God always has His way.  The Israelites went for 7o years of captivity in Babylon so that the land where they had lived and neglected God’s command could have it’s rest! (2nd Chronicles 36:20-21)

In the New Testament we find the Jubilee in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 4, verses 18-19.  Jesus announced his calling and ministry by reading from Isaiah 61:1-2.  The proclamation of the “year of the Lord’s favor” was a reference to “Jubilee”!  Jesus is our Jubilee!  In Him, we have restoration and a return of our stolen property.  God wants us to find our food, fulfillment, and blessing from His grace, not our own efforts!  Jubilee is a picture of Jesus’ provision for every person who trusts in Him by faith!

Tags : , , , , , ,