2 Thessalonians 3:1
Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you;
The word of the Lord is synonymous with the word of God. The gospel of Jesus, in other words. See entry for Acts 12:24.
2 Thessalonians 3:2
and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith.
Not all have faith. God has given everyone a measure of faith (Rom. 12:3), but not all use it. Not everyone believes the gospel. See entry for Faith.
2 Thessalonians 3:5
May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.
Direct your hearts into the love of God. Learning to live in the love of God is the essence of Christianity, because nothing else can change us. Knowing the love of God brings us peace (2 Cor. 13:11) and the confidence (1 John 4:17) that displaces fear and worry (Matt. 6:31-32, 1 John 4:18). His love that fills us with grace (2 Cor. 13:14, Eph. 6:24) making us more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37). It is the love of God that empowers us to do good works (Heb. 10:24) and abound in love for others (1 John 4:7, 10-11), whether they are family members (Eph. 5:25), fellow believers (John 13:34, 1 Th. 4:9, 1 John 3:11) or mortal enemies (Matt. 5:44, Luke 6:27, 35).
We are not changed by our love for God but by receiving his love for us. This is why we are exhorted to walk in his love (Eph. 5:2), keep ourselves in his love (Jude 1:21), remain in his love (John 15:9, 10, 1 John 4:12, 16), and not wander from his love (Rev. 2:4).
See also the entry for Love of God.
2 Thessalonians 3:8
nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you;
We kept working. As in his first letter, Paul reminds the Thessalonians that he had been self-supporting during his stay in their city (1 Th. 2:9). Paul likely funded his ministry by making tents (Acts 18:3).
2 Thessalonians 3:9
not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.
(a) The right to this. Those who preach the gospel have the right to earn a living from their work (1 Cor. 9:14), but Paul often waived this right. He didn’t want the delicate subject of money to hinder the gospel in any way.
(b) So that you would follow our example. Some of the Thessalonians were lazy (2 Th. 3:11). They needed someone to show them the meaning of hard work, and Paul was happy to oblige.
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