In the midst of all this working, though, let me offer a prayer of encouragement. When God made us to work, he made us to work on His behalf for the world, not just for ourselves. Even our working is about bearing witness to Christ and what He has done for us. Consider that Jesus looked out onto a world of people and said, "Behold, the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Pray to the LORD of the harvest to send out laborers into His vineyard." Consider that working isn't just about making money for you but it's also about caring for the needs of this world: both physical and spiritual. So may God give you opportunities this Summer, whether you're working or not, to share in His greatest work, the proclamation of the life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ to those around you.
If I may then make a shameless plug – a great opportunity to do this sharing of the Gospel over the Summer is at OAFC's National Summer Training to be held in Eagan, MN at Trinity Lone Oak, July 11-17th. Our theme this year is from 1 Corinthians 12, The Body of Christ. Pray about joining us. Do so quickly, though, as registration is coming to a close and we need to know who's coming in order to best serve the local congregations.
Please pray for us that youth may continue to be fired up by the experience of sharing the life-changing and life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for us that leaders may continue to be strengthened and new leaders raised up to plan and lead weekends. And please continue to pray for us that congregations would open their doors and hearts to allow OAFC groups to come and train and recruit their members to be involved in this great organization.
Below you'll find a Bible Study about working from the New Testament. This is a great study for youth as they prepare for Summer jobs, but especially as they prepare for leaving Junior and Senior High to realize that God is calling them to a life of work rather than a life of leisure. It's a reminder that God made us to work and our working pleases him – something we don't hear too often. Enjoy. In Christ,
Pastor Matthew Tassey
Bible Study: Working for the Mission
2 Thessalonians 3:6-18
Example Leader Prayer:
Almighty God, our Father, be with us as we get into Your holy Word and send us Your Holy Spirit that He may open our eyes to see Jesus Christ for us in this Study; in Jesus' name. Amen.
Example Leader Questions:
- (v 6) What does "idleness" look like? Why is it such a temptation to be idle? Why is it good to stay away from someone who's idle?
- (v 7) How did Paul avoid being idle – both in Thessalonica and in his missionary journeys? How might you follow his example to avoid idleness?
- (v 8) What commandment would you be breaking if you ate bread – or any food – without paying for it? Who pays for or has been paying for you food?
- (v 9) Do pastors have the right to be paid – which provides for their food and shelter – for preaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments according to Paul? Why did Paul and his companion choose to work in Thessalonica, instead?
- (v 10) What famous early American founder used Paul's command in verse 10: "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat"?
- (v 11-12) How would you encourage someone who wants to walk in idleness as a "busybody" to work according to God's command? Why does it matter? If you have nothing to do or have no need for the money, what work can you do for Christ's kingdom?
- (v 13) Why might you grow weary of doing good? What temptations and afflictions are present in this fallen world that would make it difficult for Christians to do good according to God's standards?
- (v 14-15) What is the purpose Paul gives for having nothing to do with the "busybody"? What is the desired outcome of this treatment? Is it for punishment or for growth?
- (v 16) When is peace important in your life? Why would it be helpful in those times to remember that our God is the "Lord of Peace"? Who would notice if you had "peace at all times in every way"? How would that be a witness to Christ in your life?
- (v 16) Do you have that peace at all times in every way? Why or why not? What are you holding on to, or what is holding on to you, that's preventing you from knowing the peace of the LORD? Let it go; give it to Jesus and trust that He will take care of it. Trust in the LORD of peace?
- (v 17) When was the last time you wrote a hand-written letter? Why is it important that Paul wrote it himself?
- (v 18) What is "grace"? How would you describe God's grace to someone else? What is the difference between God having grace and you having the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with you?