Friday, December 17, 2021
II Thessalonians 3:1-18
II Thessalonians 3:1-18
 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph, as it did among you,
 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men; for not all have faith.
 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from evil.
 And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things which we command.
 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.
 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you,
 we did not eat any one’s bread without paying, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you.
 It was not because we have not that right, but to give you in our conduct an example to imitate.
 For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat.
 For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work.
 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work in quietness and to earn their own living.
 Brethren, do not be weary in well-doing.
 If any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.
 Do not look on him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all.
 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.
 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
 So he told them this parable:
 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?
 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’
 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America