Thursday, April 15, 2021

Labor et Fatigatio | Laboring and Toiling

“…On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.”– 2Thessalonians 3: 8



 

“You don’t work – You don’t eat”. I am sure you have heard this saying before and usually it is directed to lazy people. Apparently, it was the same idea in Paul’s day. Apostle Paul, the man who wrote 13 books in the Bible, who received a direct revelation from God himself, who was a leading missionary to Asia Minor, was encouraging believers in the church to work hard. Paul could have his salary paid by the church. The church could provide all his needs, but it wasn't his way. Instead, he worked and he told them to do the same, to work an honest job, to toil and drop sweat and to earn a living.

In the context, we can tell that there were some busybodies in the church who loved to gossip and to cause a raucous within the church. Paul warned the church members about these people and to stay away from them. In fact, he told them to “keep away” from these. Why is it? It is simple, when you are just laying around doing nothing, there are millions of possibilities that the devil may use these moments to creep into your live. There’s an old saying “An idle hand is the tool work of the devil”. There’s a lot of truth in this saying. If you go to the area where the unemployment number is high, then most likely, you will find the high rate of crime in that area.

I was just thinking of Paul as one of the great apostles of Christ who had to work in order to support his own ministry. How about us? I thought Paul set a great example for us as a believer to follow. In a world, where there are a lot of schemes to get rich quickly, the Word of God calls us to work an honest work for our living. Especially as a believer, it is okay to “have a sweat upon your brows”, to get tired after long hours at work. It is a part of living in this cursed world.

So brothers and sisters, let us roll our sleeves and get them done. Whether it is at home or at work, let us be a productive person that gives glory and honor to God through our work. I close with this verse, “So whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31). God bless us. Amen.

 

Reflection on 2Thessalonians 3: 6-18 by Pst. Devy Nanlohy


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Non Alligatum | Not in Chains

“The word of God is not in chains.” - 2 Tim 2: 9





God the Father chose us to be his adopted sons and daughters in Jesus Christ. It is a great gift and proof of God's love. We know how fragile and weak human nature is. We experience our weaknesses, sins, and falls, etc. Obviously, we'd like to be strong children, prudent, wise, even perfect.

Apostle Paul encourages us to become like soldiers of Christ. It's very interesting as we realize that he was a sinful and weak person too. But after his conversion, Paul was sure that his strength comes from Jesus. He was ready to suffer and accept all the difficulties. His only wish was to be united with Jesus Christ. He was always on "active service" (v.4), "obeyed the rules" (v.5), and "worked hard" (v.6) for the sake of his Master. 

Surely, I am also to follow the example of Apostle Paul. Consequently, I need to be more open and ask the Lord to enable me with grace. I do remember that Jesus was raised from death and now lives in me. He chose me not because I was an extraordinary man or superman. He saw me as a weak and sinful creature who is in need of salvation. Thus, he helped me to overcome my weaknesses. And now I am ready to preach the Good News even so I know how poor I am. 

Thanks to his divine power, through my words and actions, the word of God can be proclaimed all over the world. My only purpose is so many people "may obtain the salvation that comes through Christ Jesus and brings eternal glory" (v.12). Amen.

  

 

Reflection on 2 Timothy 2: 1-12 by Fr. J√≥zef Trzebuniak SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Vocatio | Calling

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfil every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” - 2Thessalonians 1: 11-12




The persecution of Christians has occurred since the 1st century. In the first passage of 2Thessalonians, Paul encouraged Thessalonians to endure the persecution and sufferings. We know, every human being – since Adam and Eve, the Thessalonians in the 1st century or we in 21st century – undergoes pain, distress and hardship. The Bible tells us that suffering makes people’s faith grow more and more.

Paul taught us to endure the suffering by focusing on the goal. What is a Christian’s goal? It is to walk worthy of the calling of God (verse 11). How do we be worthy of his calling? By the grace of God and Lord Jesus Christ, it gives us the power to resolve for good and act by the faith (verse 11).

Paul said that if we trust in the power of God, we could not simply let the life flows. We have to make a decision firmly of what we want. It is like a blind man Bartimaeus from Jericho (Mark 10). Long story short, when Jesus met him he asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus knew exactly what Bartimaeus wanted, didn’t he? But he asked him anyway. He wanted him to decide and utter it. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” He made a decision.

Brother and sister, to decide something is one story, to act accordingly is another story. For the act of faith, we should learn from the action of the bleeding woman in the Bible. At any cost, she touched Jesus’ cloak and was healed (Mark 5).

Reflect on Paul’s letter, Bartimaeus and the bleeding woman’s story, our part to do is to resolve our resolution in faith and take the act of faith in God’s power that given freely by the grace of God and Lord Jesus Christ.

What is the result of this way of life or thinking? It is that God and Jesus be glorified in us, and we be glorified in Him (verse 12). This work is done by God actually, not us. Grace of God and Lord Jesus Christ give the power to our faith and work together with our decisions and willingness. Then it will lead to God and Jesus be glorified in us and we in him.

Dear brothers and sisters, some questions for our reflection today: Do we know what God’s calling for us? Do we need to resolve something to walk worthy in his calling? What acts of faith do we need to do? Even if tomorrow looks dark and there is no light at the end of the tunnel, what acts of faith do we need to do?

Brothers and sisters, let the grace and power of God and Lord Jesus Christ lead us to fulfil his calling. To God be the glory. God bless us.

  

 

Reflection on 2Thessalonians 1: 1-12 by Veralin Uneputty

(Listen to the Podcast here)