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Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18.
Compassion and generosity ought to mark the life of a disciple of Jesus. But there are times when charity goes too far. Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers and told them that those who can work but refuse to do so should not be coddled or enabled. Paul even warns us, "Do not associate with them" (v. 14).
God is always watching, and He is the one who rewards. So, don't give up.
There have always been men and women who falsely believe work is a consequence of humanity's fall. But the Bible says that before the fall, Adam was working in the garden (see Genesis 2:15). That work was honorable, healthy, and pleasurable. It was only after Adam and Eve sinned that work became difficult and, at times, a burden. But the fact remains that work is a blessing from God. All these long years later, the essence of work and the purpose for work have not changed a bit. God created us to work. It is part of our calling as His people made in His image.
Colossians 3:23-24 tells us, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward." Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or a retiree, you are ultimately working for God, who sees everything you do. When you understand this, you will work with absolute integrity and honesty. God knows everything, and He is the only one who can reward you.
Sometimes the worst thing you can do for someone is to shower them with compassion, meet all their needs, and solve all their problems. When you do, you may inadvertently encourage them to look to people to meet their needs instead of depending on God. Of course, this does not mean there are not people who have genuine needs. We are called to give generously to those who cannot care for themselves—and to do it in Jesus' name.
As we edge closer and closer to the end of days, there will be tremendous fear in the world. Many will look to the government to take care of them. Many believers will become lazy and apathetic. Brothers and sisters, God is always watching, and He is the one who rewards. So, don't give up. Don't look to someone other than God to provide for you. Remember Jesus Christ, your great reward. He is coming soon!
Prayer: Father, grant me wisdom to know when to act with compassion and when to admonish so that I might point others to You as their only true provision, security, and reward. May I likewise seek to work for You with cheerfulness, determination, and integrity, remembering all You have done for me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: 'The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat'" (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon End of History and You, Part 7: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW