Paul generally begins his letters with prayer as he does here in 2 Thessalonians. What seems to be different here is that he says, “we are ‘bound’ to thank God for you” (1:3, 2:13). The word bound would mean obligated. Paul felt a debt to the Thessalonians for how well they had received the gospel and endured under persecution (1:4).
Paul jumps right in to draw the line about the coming of God’s final judgement and glory. It seems as though that after Paul had left, someone had come in the church and was sewing seeds of discord about the return of Christ, claiming that he had already come back and they had missed it (2:1-3). Paul sets the record straight and reminds them to go back to the sound doctrine (traditions) they had received from him in person or via his other letter written to them (2:15).
Paul wraps up this short epistle with a request for prayer and warning against idleness. If Paul needed the prayer of the churches, we all need prayer. There were some who were content to eat the bread from other’s labor, but Paul admonished them that each one is to work and eat their own bread (3:12). He reminds his readers that they are to not grow weary of doing good (3:13).
I imagine that growing weary in doing good is all in your perspective. If you see the good that God has called you too as an obligation, I see how it could become wearisome. However, if we see the opportunity to do good to others as a gift, we will look for it more often and with zeal.
FATHER, We give thanks to you for your church. We are bound to give thanks for all the ways you have worked in the church and used the church in our own lives. We thank you for each and every gift. We rejoice in the encouragement we have drawn from one another. We pray that we would not be lead astray by false doctrine, but that we would cling to your word. Strengthen our hand that we would not be weary in doing good. Let our love for you be evident to all and may it abound. We pray for our church leaders that you would strengthen their hand and that they would glorify you. Thank you for the grace to shepherd your people. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.
What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.