Parable of The Sower _ Matthew 13
2 Thessalonians 3
2 Thessalonians 3
Do we have any fans of Boston Sports? Red Sox, Boston Bruins, the New England Patriots, I think they might have a basketball team as well. One of the things I like about Boston Sports is the pride they take in putting in the reps. Working hard, not quitting, often it is referred to as grinding.
I don’t know if any of you guys remember the Boston Red Sox’s 2004 baseball season. There was all kinds of talk about the curse of the Bambino, the belief that the Sox would never win the world series as eternal punishment for trading away Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees in 1920.. But things were changing. There was hope, the players were united, and it was time to “cowboy up.”
MLB.com did an article about that team. Best season ever? Hard to top 2004 Red Sox
December 26th, 2021
Written by Ian Browne
Here’s part of what he wrote: “When they got to Spring Training, the Red Sox were a swagger-filled group led by not only their two prized new acquisitions but also a blossoming slugging star in David Ortiz and a dominant hitter in Ramirez. They also had a rock-solid catcher and leader in Jason Varitek and care-free producers like Johnny Damon and Kevin Millar who made the clubhouse a fun place for anyone who inhabited it. Then you had the grinders like Bill Mueller, Mark Bellhorn and Trot Nixon.”
https://www.si.com/ MIKE D'ABATE
SEP 20, 2021 Bill Belichick Postgame, Sunday, September 19
“[I’m] Proud of our football team today. I thought these guys came back and really worked hard all week, and I thought we made some improvement from what we did last week. Still obviously have a way to go, a lot of things we can do better, but I thought we did a lot of things better than we did them last week. So, we just need to keep grinding, keep working, just keep stringing these days and weeks together and keep improving our football team.
The Boston Bruins....https://whdh.com/news article ‘He’s a grinder’: Bruins fans praise bloody Bergeron
MAY 9, 2022 BY STEVE COOPER While Patrice Bergeron scored a goal in the Bruins’ win over the Carolina Hurricanes Sunday, it’s the shot he took to the face that has fans singing his praises.
After a hockey stick slash left his face bleeding and bruised, Bergeron took a quick trip to the locker room for some stitches and came right back out on the ice. The Bruins won the game 5-2, evening up the playoff series at 2-2.
“He’s like 37 years old and he’s asking to go back in the last 20 seconds with a bleeding eye? There’s not many people built like that anymore,” said fan Dylan McSparren.
“He lives and dies for Boston,” said fan Victoria Serwatuck. “He’s a grinder.”
I’d like to invite you to turn with me to 2 Thessalonians 3 for a message entitled, Keep Grinding, the New England Translation of Don’t Grow Weary.
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.
Pray with me church!
In Paul’s appeal to them for prayer, he asks for some specific things, Look at verse one with me again, 2 Thes 3:1
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you,
Vs. 1 that is would run swiftly or spread freely without resistance, the idea being without being slowed down with obstacles AND be accepted or received, being glorified, in the same way that it was in this community. The Word of the Lord is glorified when it is shared, received, and believed. So pray #1 that the Word would move freely, #2 that is would be glorified, by being believed and received like with you guys, and #3 in verse 2, 2 Thes 3:2
2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.
Paul very frequently asked people to pray for him, and you may look at his life and think, well it didn’t work very well, it seems like Paul was attacked by unreasonable and wicked men all the time. But how do you know it didn’t work? Or how do you know how much worse things could have been? Paul knew the value and the power of prayer, so he kept on praying, kept on asking, and continuously asked others to pray for him as well. And I believe he’s asking to be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men, or better yet, have those men get saved.
Foxnews.com July 12, 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law last week a measure punishing any kind of religious evangelization outside of churches,
That hasn’t happened yet here yet but we certainly have seen an increase in the number of unreasonable and wicked men. So, I’d like to be so bold as to ask that you guys would pray this prayer for us, for our church, for the leadership here, and pray that our political leaders would come to faith in Jesus.
Pray that this church would be a place that the Word of God may go out unhindered and be glorified. That it would go into every home in Old Town and the surrounding communities. In fact, pray it for the pastors and other churches in Old Town as well. In verse 3 Paul tells them why they can pray these things with confidence.
Verse 3…2 Thes 3:3
3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.
Do you ever lack confidence when you pray? We can pray confidently when we remember that God is faithful. Paul didn’t pray with confidence because he thought that God would give him everything that he wanted, but he was able to pray with confidence because God is faithful. Look again at what he says, the Lord is faithful who WILL establish you that word translated establish means strengthen, support, to make fast, or to fix firmly in faith. Think of it as spiritual quickrete.
A buddy of mine and I built a chain link fence around our house down in Virginia. The soil there was very sandy, so we’d dig the holes, put the post in and then fill in around it with concrete mix, put some water in, and in just a short amount of time, that post was unmoveable. That is the idea here, the Lord is faithful and He will set the forms and make you solid, and, as if that wasn’t enough, and He will guard you from the evil one. The word guard here means guard. No, it does. Guard closely, to watch, to Keep.
Similar to this passage…Phil 4:6-7
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
So now Paul tells them two specific things he will be praying for them…starting in vs. 4
4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you. 5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.
Vs. 5 Paul prays that the Lord would direct their hearts into the love of God AND #2, into the patience of Christ. Anyone ever accuse you of having the patience of Jesus? No, well we should be praying these things for each other then. Listen,
It is fine to tell God what we want, to ask for what we want, but prayer also asks us to trust God…because He is faithful, even though it might not look like what we want it to. Even if He gives us what is best for us, not what is easiest for us. Even if He allows some suffering, so we will be strong when we are put in the position of having to decide if it’s time to throw in the towel, or to keep grinding.
Now I have a question for you. And it’s a question we may build on in the next couple of weeks. Going through these letters to the Thessalonians, it has given us ample opportunity to talk about the end times. What is going to happen in the final events of the culmination of human history on this earth. It is what theologians call cosmic eschatology. But what about personal or individual eschatology? What do I mean by that? What happens when we die? What about the non-christian? So we may talk about that in a couple of weeks.
But staying with the big picture stuff…We’ve have talked about the imminent return of Christ, Jesus coming back at any moment in time. And...that we should live in such a way that our life demonstrates that we believe that. Meaning that we are ready for it. While also planning for the future just in case He decides to wait awhile longer. But here is my question for you What if you knew that Jesus was coming back in 4 months. I don’t mean one of your nutty friends tells you that its going to be June of 2023 because of some blood moon, or ancient feast and it’s true because they saw it on the internet. It’s a hypothetical, because Jesus tells us that no man knows the day, nor the hour, but... say you did.
How would you spend the 4 months knowing Jesus was coming back? Is there on going sin in your life you would stop? Is there someone you love that you haven’t shared the gospel with, or maybe a friend that you haven’t told because you didn’t want to risk the relationship?
Many of Jesus’s early followers believed that Jesus would return very quickly. Those that believed this way responded by radically changing their lives. Some got supper busy about the Lord’s business. They travelled and would go from town to town telling everyone that would listen about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Others, checked out. Stopped grinding. Stopped working, stopped serving, they probably let their car’s extended warranty expire. The things of the earth didn’t matter anymore, the people in need didn’t matter so much, because they were short timers now. They actually considered themselves the more spiritual, because they weren’t wasting time with the labors of this earth, they had their eyes to the sky waiting for Jesus. They were short timers man!
Ever been a short timer? Maybe you’ve got a count down going when you can retire, or when you get your next promotion. I’m a short timer right now in finishing up my degree. For some when you’re almost there, it’s tough to stay dillegent. For others, it is the finish line, finish strong and sprint it out giving everything you have.
IF you knew He was coming back in 4 months would your life radically change for the good,
OR, would you quit your job, stop paying your bills, let the April 15th deadline to file your taxes go by?
Paul addresses that later group here in Thessalonica...
6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.
7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you;
8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you,
9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.
13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all. 17 The salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is a sign in every epistle; so I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Grace and Peace