From Pastor Perry

1 Timothy 1:1–2 (ESV)
Greeting
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

This letter was written by Paul to Timothy.  He calls Timothy “my true child in the faith.”  Many have taken this to mean that Timothy is Paul’s natural son.  This is not the case.  Timothy is his son “in the faith” in the same way I may say you are my brother in Christ.  I only have one natural brother and that is Bruce.  Now I have tons of brothers in Christ.  All Christians are my brothers and/or sisters in Christ.  Timothy is young understudy of Paul.  What do we know about him?  He is a native of Lystra and had a Gentile father and a Christian mother.  Timothy is going to carry on Paul’s ministry while Paul is in prison or when he dies.  Timothy was a young man with a powerful faith.

I pray: O Lord, teach us to regard the servants of Your Church not according to their individual strengths and weaknesses but as Your spokesmen, called to serve sinners with Your gifts of forgiveness and life. Amen.

2 Thessalonians 3:16–18 (ESV)
Benediction
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Paul adds warmth and genuinity to the letter by writing the greeting with his own hand.  The Lutheran Study Bible states:
 
Paul concludes his Letter with a prayer for peace and, in his own hand, a blessing of grace. We should imitate Paul in his blessing. We should pray for peace for others, even for our enemies. We should bless, and not curse, even those we do not like, even those who do us harm (Rm 12:19; 1Pt 3:9). Our prayer for God’s peace and grace in our lives is no mere wish. We do have peace with God and with one another through the blood of Christ; by the grace of our Lord, this is a peace that passes all understanding and remains steadfast regardless of external assaults by the devil (cf Eph 2:11–21; Col 1:19–20; Jn 14:27).


I pray: “O God, from whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.” Amen. (LSB, p 233)

2 Thessalonians 3:13–15 (ESV)
Warning Against Idleness
13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

Those who are idle are to be avoided and even denied fellowship in order that this might cause them to repent, amend their ways, and return to their fellow believers. Laziness is a serious sin against the God who created us and gave us talents and abilities. It is a sin against the Body of Christ, against our brothers and sisters in the Lord, to whom we have been joined and with whom we are to be co-workers. The good news is that this word of the condemning Law is not the last word. The Law shows us our need for the Savior from sin; the Gospel gives us that Savior.

I pray:  Heavenly Father, I thank You that in Baptism You have broken into my life, unified me with the life of Christ, and chosen me for citizenship in Your kingdom. I praise You for this inheritance, this home, this family. I bless You for never having forgotten me and never ceasing to yearn for me, to seek me, to call me, to offer me forgiveness anew. Amen.

2 Thessalonians 3:6–12 (ESV)
Warning Against Idleness
6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

Many people quote a passage and claim it is from the Bible: “The Lord helps those who help themselves.”  Well, that is not Biblical, but it probably comes from this passage: “If any is not willing to work, let him not eat.”  These two statements are not the same.  In fact, we are to count on God’s grace and mercy for our very salvation.  But the message is clear that if you are not willing to work, you shouldn’t eat.  Paul is speaking against idleness.

I pray: O Lord, help me to not be idle, but to be serving you out of love.  Use me to help others and to be your servant.  Forgive me when I fail.  Amen.

2 Thessalonians 3:1–5 (ESV)
Pray for Us
3 Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, 2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Prayer is often neglected in the life of a Christian, yet it should be high priority!  We need to pray and communicate with God.  He already knows what we need and what we are going to say, but Jesus tells us to pray... and teaches us how to pray.  Martin Luther gave the following quote:

                                  A Simple Way To Pray - Luther
O Heavenly Father, dear God, I am a poor unworthy sinner. I do not deserve to raise my eyes or hands toward thee or to pray. But because thou hast commanded us all to pray and hast promised to hear us and through thy dear Son Jesus Christ hast taught us both how and what to pray, I come to thee in obedience to thy word, trusting in thy gracious promise. I pray in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ together with all thy saints and Christians on earth as he has taught us:
Our Father who art, etc., through the whole prayer, word for word.

I pray: O Lord, help me to take everything to you in prayer.  And when I have a busy day, to first turn to prayer instead of cutting it out.  Protect me and guide me O Lord.  Amen.

Latest comments

06.05 | 23:42

Hey everybody, I'm locked out due to my password. Waiting to get password reset so I can update. (05/06/2015)

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05.03 | 22:15

Pastor. since I did not get to attend church today, I read your blog and found it
to be so informative for Ash Wednesday. Thanks for your comments.

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25.12 | 07:53

Amen+

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28.11 | 13:00

Happy Thanksgiving

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