Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 206

2 Thessalonians 1–3, Philemon 1, Psalms 79–80

Bible text(s)

1From Paul, Silas, and Timothy —

To the people of the church in Thessalonica, who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

2May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

The Judgement at Christ's Coming

3Our brothers and sisters, we must thank God at all times for you. It is right for us to do so, because your faith is growing so much and the love each of you has for the others is becoming greater. 4That is why we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God. We boast about the way you continue to endure and believe through all the persecutions and sufferings you are experiencing.

5All of this proves that God's judgement is just and as a result you will become worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. 6God will do what is right: he will bring suffering on those who make you suffer, 7and he will give relief to you who suffer and to us as well. He will do this when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven with his mighty angels, 8with a flaming fire, to punish those who reject God and who do not obey the Good News about our Lord Jesus. 9They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and from his glorious might, 10when he comes on that Day to receive glory from all his people and honour from all who believe. You too will be among them, because you have believed the message that we told you.

11That is why we always pray for you. We ask our God to make you worthy of the life he has called you to live. May he fulfil by his power all your desire for goodness and complete your work of faith. 12In this way the name of our Lord Jesus will receive glory from you, and you from him, by the grace of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Wicked One

1Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to be with him: I beg you, my brothers and sisters, 2not to be so easily confused in your thinking or upset by the claim that the Day of the Lord has come. Perhaps it is thought that we said this while prophesying or preaching, or that we wrote it in a letter. 3Do not let anyone deceive you in any way. For the Day will not come until the final Rebellion takes place and the Wicked One appears, who is destined for hell. 4He will oppose every so-called god or object of worship and will put himself above them all. He will even go in and sit down in God's Temple and claim to be God.

5Don't you remember? I told you all this while I was with you. 6Yet there is something that keeps this from happening now, and you know what it is. At the proper time, then, the Wicked One will appear. 7The Mysterious Wickedness is already at work, but what is going to happen will not happen until the one who holds it back is taken out of the way. 8Then the Wicked One will be revealed, but when the Lord Jesus comes, he will kill him with the breath from his mouth and destroy him with his dazzling presence. 9The Wicked One will come with the power of Satan and perform all kinds of false miracles and wonders, 10and use every kind of wicked deceit on those who will perish. They will perish because they did not welcome and love the truth so as to be saved. 11And so God sends the power of error to work in them so that they believe what is false. 12The result is that all who have not believed the truth, but have taken pleasure in sin, will be condemned.

You are Chosen for Salvation

13We must thank God at all times for you, brothers and sisters, you whom the Lord loves. For God chose you as the first to be saved by the Spirit's power to make you his holy people and by your faith in the truth. 14God called you to this through the Good News we preached to you; he called you to possess your share of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15So then, our brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to those truths which we taught you, both in our preaching and in our letter.

16May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and in his grace gave us unfailing courage and a firm hope, 17encourage you and strengthen you always to do and say what is good.

2 Thessalonians 2GNBOpen in Bible reader

Pray for Us

1Finally, our brothers and sisters, pray for us, that the Lord's message may continue to spread rapidly and be received with honour, just as it was among you. 2Pray also that God will rescue us from wicked and evil people; for not everyone believes the message.

3But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and keep you safe from the Evil One. 4And the Lord gives us confidence in you, and we are sure that you are doing and will continue to do what we tell you.

5May the Lord lead you into a greater understanding of God's love and the endurance that is given by Christ.

The Obligation to Work

6Our brothers and sisters, we command you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to keep away from all believers who are living a lazy life and who do not follow the instructions that we gave them. 7You yourselves know very well that you should do just what we did. We were not lazy when we were with you. 8We did not accept anyone's support without paying for it. Instead, we worked and toiled; we kept working day and night so as not to be an expense to any of you. 9We did this, not because we have no right to demand our support; we did it to be an example for you to follow. 10While we were with you, we used to say to you, “Whoever refuses to work is not allowed to eat.”

11We say this because we hear that there are some people among you who live lazy lives and who do nothing except meddle in other people's business. 12In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we command these people and warn them to lead orderly lives and work to earn their own living.

13But you, brothers and sisters, must not get tired of doing good. 14It may be that someone there will not obey the message we send you in this letter. If so, take note of that person and have nothing to do with him or her, so that they will be ashamed. 15But do not treat them as an enemy; instead, warn them as a fellow-believer.

Final Words

16May the Lord himself, who is our source of peace, give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all.

17With my own hand I write this: Greetings from Paul. This is the way I sign every letter; this is how I write.

18May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

2 Thessalonians 3GNBOpen in Bible reader

1From Paul, a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy —

To our friend and fellow-worker Philemon, 2and the church that meets in your house, and our sister Apphia, and our fellow-soldier Archippus:

3May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

Philemon's Love and Faith

4Brother Philemon, every time I pray, I mention you and give thanks to my God. 5For I hear of your love for all God's people and the faith you have in the Lord Jesus. 6My prayer is that our fellowship with you as believers will bring about a deeper understanding of every blessing which we have in our life in union with Christ. 7Your love, dear brother, has brought me great joy and much encouragement! You have cheered the hearts of all God's people.

A Request for Onesimus

8For this reason I could be bold enough, as your brother in Christ, to order you to do what should be done. 9But because I love you, I make a request instead. I do this even though I am Paul, the ambassador of Christ Jesus, and at present also a prisoner for his sake. 10So I make a request to you on behalf of Onesimus, who is my own son in Christ; for while in prison I have become his spiritual father. 11At one time he was of no use to you, but now he is useful both to you and to me.

12I am sending him back to you now, and with him goes my heart. 13I would like to keep him here with me, while I am in prison for the gospel's sake, so that he could help me in your place. 14However, I do not want to force you to help me; rather, I would like you to do it of your own free will. So I will not do anything unless you agree.

15It may be that Onesimus was away from you for a short time so that you might have him back for all time. 16And now he is not just a slave, but much more than a slave: he is a dear brother in Christ. How much he means to me! And how much more he will mean to you, both as a slave and as a brother in the Lord!

17So, if you think of me as your partner, welcome him back just as you would welcome me. 18If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to my account. 19Here, I will write this with my own hand: I, Paul, will pay you back. (I should not have to remind you, of course, that you owe your very self to me.) 20So, my brother, please do me this favour for the Lord's sake; as a brother in Christ, cheer me up!

21I am sure, as I write this, that you will do what I ask — in fact I know that you will do even more. 22At the same time, get a room ready for me, because I hope that God will answer the prayers of all of you and give me back to you.

Final Greetings

23Epaphras, who is in prison with me for the sake of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings, 24and so do my fellow-workers Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke.

25May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Philemon 1GNBOpen in Bible reader

A Prayer for the Nation's Deliverance

1O God, the heathen have invaded your land.

They have desecrated your holy Temple

and left Jerusalem in ruins.

2They left the bodies of your people for the vultures,

the bodies of your servants for wild animals to eat.

3They shed your people's blood like water;

blood flowed like water all through Jerusalem,

and no one was left to bury the dead.

4The surrounding nations insult us;

they laugh at us and mock us.

5LORD, will you be angry with us for ever?

Will your anger continue to burn like fire?

6Turn your anger on the nations that do not worship you,

on the people who do not pray to you.

7For they have killed your people;

they have ruined your country.

8Do not punish us for the sins of our ancestors.

Have mercy on us now;

we have lost all hope.

9Help us, O God, and save us;

rescue us and forgive our sins

for the sake of your own honour.

10Why should the nations ask us,

“Where is your God?”

Let us see you punish the nations

for shedding the blood of your servants.

11Listen to the groans of the prisoners,

and by your great power free those who are condemned to die.

12Lord, pay the other nations back seven times

for all the insults they have hurled at you.

13Then we, your people, the sheep of your flock,

will thank you for ever

and praise you for all time to come.

A Prayer for the Nation's Restoration

1Listen to us, O Shepherd of Israel;

hear us, leader of your flock.

Seated on your throne above the winged creatures,

2reveal yourself to the tribes of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.

Show us your strength;

come and save us!

3Bring us back, O God!

Show us your mercy, and we will be saved!

4How much longer, LORD God Almighty,

will you be angry with your people's prayers?

5You have given us sorrow to eat,

a large cup of tears to drink.

6You let the surrounding nations fight over our land;

our enemies insult us.

7Bring us back, Almighty God!

Show us your mercy, and we will be saved!

8You brought a grapevine out of Egypt;

you drove out other nations and planted it in their land.

9You cleared a place for it to grow;

its roots went deep, and it spread out over the whole land.

10It covered the hills with its shade;

its branches overshadowed the giant cedars.

11It extended its branches to the Mediterranean Sea

and as far as the River Euphrates.

12Why did you break down the fences round it?

Now anyone passing by can steal its grapes;

13wild pigs trample it down,

and wild animals feed on it.

14Turn to us, Almighty God!

Look down from heaven at us;

come and save your people!

15Come and save this grapevine that you planted,

this young vine you made grow so strong!

16Our enemies have set it on fire and cut it down;

look at them in anger and destroy them!

17Preserve and protect the people you have chosen,

the nation you made so strong.

18We will never turn away from you again;

keep us alive, and we will praise you.

19Bring us back, LORD God Almighty.

Show us your mercy, and we will be saved.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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