“My Father is still working, and I also am working - John 5:17 (NIV).
The term “idle and disorderly” was introduced by the British colonialists to contain those whose conduct they considered a threat to the existence of the ruling class. People who fall in that category include: those found wandering aimlessly, gathering alms, playing games of chance in public places, loitering for immoral purposes, etc. Upon conviction one can be subject to a prohibitive fine or imprisonment up to seven years.
For these British rulers the “idle and disorderly” were considered as a nuisance, deserving to be cleared; though in truth, for many their aimlessness was a result of being deprived of their livelihood. Think of a time when people used to live in communities where they woke up to roles and duties specified for every individual. This is how most of our African societies used to function before colonialism arrived to upset the social order.
Writing to the church in Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul too, decries being “idle and disorderly” but for a different reason. His concern was not to secure himself and a group of nobles a genteel life safe from being disturbed by the “riff ruff” ; rather, to see everyone of us is gainfully employed.
“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us” (2 Thessalonians 3:6). When people are “Idle and disorderly” Paul noted they tended to become “busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat” (vv 11-12).
It has been noted that King David took a man’s wife because he, Uriah, was at war, while David was slackening back home, with a lot of time on his hand (2 Samuel 11). Paul’s admonition against idleness is actually for our good. Aside from enabling us earn a living, it also saves us from all those temptations and distractions that come as a result of not being occupied in some productive pursuit.
Today, thank God if you have a task to keep you fully motivated and engaged through the day, for that is how the Lord intended to be. And where you may not, pray that you soon discover and engage in that task, so consuming that you have no time for being “idle and disorderly”!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I am grateful for the work you have given to me to keep me fully occupied and likewise pray that all believers may enjoy the same, for work is a form of worship to you, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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23/02/2024 - 24/02/2024 All day
“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.