By Judy Laredo

We have come to the final section of this bible study on 2 Thessalonians 3. As we recall, Paul began with a prayer request, then he exhorted the Thessalonians to continue to walk according to his example and gave them commands on how to admonish the brethren who were not walking according to rule.

Now, in this last section, Paul closes his letter with:

• An encouragement to not grow weary (2Th 3:13)

• A prayer that the Lord bless them with His peace and presence (2Th 3:16)

• A confirmation of Paul's authorship of this epistle (2Th 3:17)

• A benediction of grace from the Lord Jesus Christ (2Th 3:18)

DO NOT GROW WEARY: 2 Thessalonians 3:13-15

To me, verse 13 is one of those verses that you can't just pass right on by. We're going to be spending some time on verse 13 so, “don't grow weary” (lol).

But what does it mean by, "grow weary?" The word "WEARY" in verse 13 speaks of being utterly spiritless, beat down, exhausted, to grow faint, to lose heart. In Galatians 6:9-10 (NKJV) Paul tells us;

9 "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."

On occasion, I like to listen to The Daily Devo on YouTube. And in one of the videos, the speaker said:

"When you plant fruit, vegetables or crops, it takes some time for them to grow from seed into fruit. And if farmers got impatient with the time it took or the hard work in tending the field, they might be tempted to give up and stop the whole process. But if they wait, if they persevere, in time, they will see a harvest of crops."

Do not grow weary is also the same as: Be always abounding; always excelling.

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV) "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

Therefore, BE NOT weary while doing good, because, if we persevere, in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Yeah, but sometimes, I do grow weary. Sometimes, I do get discouraged, and I do lose heart. And I know, sometimes, you do too. We are not robots. We are mortal beings. Our strength is limited and even our time is limited. And if we're being honest, sometimes our patience is limited. Nonetheless, we are called to do good.

The word "GOOD" speaks of, well doing and of moral excellence. And by doing good, (i.e., being kind to others and showing sacrificial love to others, etc.) we prove we are children of God.

3 John 1:11 (NKJV) "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God."

So, what do we need to do? How can we avoid growing weary? Well, we already know what we need to do.

READ: We need to be in the word of God, and

REST: We need to sit at the Lord's feet.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus involves, of course, praying and meditating on His word and waiting upon the Lord.

Joshua 1:8 (NKJV) "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."

The battle starts in our minds. We need to train our thoughts. We need to quickly recognize the bad thinking.

Then we need to hold our thoughts captive and keep them from going down rabbit-holes! Therefore, we need to replace our thoughts with His words and His promises.

Philippians 4:8 (NKJV) "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things."

And "these things" can be found in the word of God. Most battles are won or lost in our mind before we even get a chance to put on our armor. Matthew Henry said in his commentary, ". . . The mind of man is a busy thing; if it is not employed in doing good, it will be doing evil."

Ephesians 6:16-17 (NKJV) 16 “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;"

We need to become so familiar with the word, that when the fiery darts start flying our way, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can recall God's word to our mind.

John 14:26 (NKJV) "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."

Luke 12:11-12 (NKJV) 11 "Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 "For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."

Therefore, the exhortation, the application for us is to read the word. We need to always be in the word of God, daily, and we need to hide the word of God inside of us. Especially in these last days that we're living in.

Again, we need to read the word daily. We need to meditate on the word daily and we need to memorize His word (chewing on it). It is our daily spiritual bread.

Psalm 119:11 (NKJV) "Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”

The Bible is the inspired word of God. It is the inerrant word of God. It is the authoritative Word of God. From the only True and Living God, Amen!

Psalm 119:18 (NKJV) "Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law."

And God honors His word.

Psalm 138:2 (NKJV) "I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name."

We need to look continually to Jesus who has always done good to us and for us. We keep our eyes on Jesus, on Christ and the cross.

Hebrews 12:3 (NASB) "For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

To find the strength and courage we need every day, even the joy and peace we need, we look to the cross and what Jesus endured for us. It is there we are reminded of His great love for us. It is there we find that we ". . . can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13 ).

Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

So, let us not grow weary while doing good. Let us not cease, let us not give up. Let us not be discouraged, let us not lose heart. And let us not be like those who have no hope.

Romans 15:13 (NKJV) "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

We need to be devoted to, dependent upon, and directed by the word of God.

Psalm 119:105 (NKJV) "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path."

Pastor Art Reyes said, "We need to know the GOD of the Word, not just the word of God. You cannot abide in Christ if you do not abide in the word."

John 15:4 (NKJV) "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."

Yes, we need to READ and, we also need to REST in Jesus. We are the Lord's servants, and we need Him to pour into us constantly. We need to be sitting at the Lord’s feet listening, learning, and receiving just like Mary chose to do.

Luke 10:41-42 (NKJV) 41 “And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."

In this verse, Jesus was helping Martha understand what was more important. And for that matter, what's also more important for us.

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

The one good thing we can learn about Martha in this verse is that, at least Martha went straight to Jesus with her complaint. I can't remember where I heard this from but, it went something like, "may we have both, the loving heart of Mary, and the loving hands of Martha."

He made a way for us to spend time with Him. The veil was torn in two, and the Creator of all things, invites us to sit with Him. (I love how the NLT reads this Psalm )

Psalm 116:1-2 (NLT) 1 "I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. 2 Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!"

Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Think about it. We're invited to enter in yet, how often do we find ourselves too busy to sit at His feet and commune with Him and to pray?

Matthew 11:28-29 (NKJV) 28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV) "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

May we all be eager to find the time to be in His Presence.

Psalm 23:2-3 (NKJV) 2 "He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake."

BLESSING AND BENEDICTION: 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18

In this next section of scripture, Paul is praying for the Thessalonians. Notice that Paul prays not only for the Lord's peace to be with them but for the "Lord of peace" Himself to be with the Thessalonians. Paul also confirms that this letter is indeed from him and ends his letter with a benediction.

A benediction is the act of blessing, a giving of praise to God or giving Him thanks for His favors, or a prayer. In verse 16, the word "PEACE" speaks of security, safety, prosperity, and contentment. But I like the benediction Paul wrote in Romans 16:20 (NKJV) "And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen."

In verse 17, we read of the "SALUTATION" of Paul which is a greeting in person or by letter (written or oral). Again, Paul wrote 2nd Thessalonians because the church was troubled by false reports, possibly by a forged letter, that the rapture already happened, and they were now in the tribulation period.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 (NKJV) 1 "Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come."

So, Paul signs at the end of this epistle, in his own handwriting, which was a sign of genuineness and authorship. This letter has been authenticated by Paul. Now, the Thessalonian church can receive the encouragement, the enlightenment and exhortation Paul wrote to them in this letter, with confidence.

So what was it about the way he wrote? Was it how he signed his name or the way his handwriting looked? No one really knows. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) called Paul's signature, in verse 17, “a distinguishing mark.” Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 3:17 (NKJV) "The salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is a sign in every epistle; so I write." The Apostle Paul’s words. “So I write," is another way of saying, this is the way I write. Additional salutations Paul wrote in his epistles:

Galatians 6:11 (NKJV) "See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!"

1 Corinthians 16:21 (NKJV) "The salutation with my own hand--Paul's."

Colossians 4:18 (NKJV) "This salutation by my own hand--Paul… ."

Philemon 1:19a (NKJV) "I, Paul, am writing with my own hand… ."

Now, we know that the Apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans. However, it says in Romans 16,

Romans 16:22 (NKJV) "I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord."

Tertius, was an amanuensis of the Apostle Paul. An amanuensis is a person who is employed to take dictation or to copy manuscripts.

In verse 18, "GRACE" is the Hebrew word "Charis" which also means good will. It is the unmerited favor of our gracious God to all who are in Christ Jesus. It's God's favor. God's amazing grace!

John 1:17 (NKJV) "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."

I'm sure most of you have heard the acronym for GRACE: God's Riches At Christ's Expense (G. R. A. C. E.) As David Guzik wrote in his commentary, "For Paul, God’s grace was the beginning and the end of the Christian life. It was appropriate that this letter – and most – of his letters began and ended with a mention of grace."

As you know, the theme for the Women's Tuesday Morning Bible Study is "Be Encouraged, Jesus is Coming." Well, I happened to be listening to a bible study by Pastor Skip Heitzig. And in this study, he was talking about a wedding. He said, "there is a difference between observation and anticipation. There are people who are in the audience. They are observing, those are the guests. But then there’s the bride. The guests are looking at it. But the bride is looking for it. The bride is looking for that day. The bride is longing for that day to be joined to her Husband." Then, he said, "But should the Lord tarry, well then, the undertaker may come. But I'm not looking for the undertaker, I'm looking for the Upper-taker."

I hope and pray that we too do not grow weary looking, longing, and waiting for that day. That day to be forever joined, with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Just like the Apostle John said, in Revelation 22:20, may we also say, " . . . Even so, come Lord Jesus!"

Revelation 22:12 (NKJV) "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work."

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!