Saturday 20 July, 2013

2 Thessalonians 3:14-18

14 Keep an eye on anyone who doesn’t obey the directions in our letter. Watch that person closely. Have nothing to do with him. Then he will feel ashamed. 15 But don’t think of him as an enemy. Instead, warn him as a brother or sister. 16 May the Lord who gives peace give you peace at all times and in every way. May the Lord be with all of you. 17 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own handwriting. That’s how I prove that I am the author of all my letters. I always do it that way. 18 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Paul, in making his closing remarks to the second letter to the Thessalonians, makes a series of significant statements that he clearly wants the readers to keep in mind. The part of this scripture that catches my eye initially is in vs 14-16. My Bible has a heading before 16, but it was not there in the original, so I read around it: Paul initially in vs 14, calls the reader to have nothing to do with anyone who does not obey what the letter says, but quickly follows this up with the instruction to do this not as an enemy, but as a fellow believer. It then follows up with verse 16, which is a warm message of incredible peace!!

The next verse then intrigues me. Is Paul including this final statement because he is aware of others impersonating him? Is he wisely setting up protection of the true messages of scripture? Is there another reason that he is including this statement? Whatever the reason, it is an encouragement to me that the content of scripture is true to the eyewitnesses who wrote it.

Father God, help us to be loving and wise in the way that we deal with those who do not have faith in the scriptures and thankyou for giving us Your word!

Written by Justin Ware

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