In this Tuesday’s Scripture, Paul urges the Thessalonians to follow his example and work. He also commands the brothers to “keep away” from those who have chosen idleness.
CONNECT (Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group
_ Take some time in your group to define the word idle. Think of the many different ways you have heard it used as an adjective and a verb. Reflect on your past. Were there snatches of time in which you personally were idle? During these times, how was your relationship with Jesus? How was your relationship with God’s people? How does idleness in you, or others around you, affect relationships in your home, workplace, or church?
_ What is one way the Lord is impacting the life of someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?
PRAY Take some time to thank and praise God for who He is, to pray for those you are walking with, for the needs you/group are facing, and for the Spirit to highlight truth as you read.
DISCOVER [2 Thessalonians 3:6-12]
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.
WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_ Who is Paul talking to in verse 6? What is his specific command? In whose authority does Paul speak?
_ Remember also Paul encouraged the believers to work also in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12. It says, “and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.”
_ Why might Paul give this heightened command in his second letter?
_ Paul points to his time with the Thessalonian church as an example on how they should live in his absence. What specific things did Paul and his friends do that he is asking them to emulate? Verse 8-9
_ Put verse 10 in your own words. Is this a command you follow personally? If you are a supervisor or a parent is it one you implement in your workplace or home?
_ What does verse 11 say about the natural consequence of idleness for some? How does this break fellowship if it is not addressed?
_ How is Paul’s command in verse 12 different from his command in verse 6? How is it similar to his words in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12?
_What good-news about Jesus (salvation, forgiveness, help, comfort) do we discover in this passage?
+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and respond to what I learned today with a simple concrete step of action/obedience? (In groups discuss this in guy/girl break-outs, below are a couple of ideas to help prompt responses if needed)
+ WHO are you walking with that you might pass along or encourage what you learned, with today? (e.g., your family around the dinner table, a friend, co-worker or neighbor you are walking with to discover the message Jesus)