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“As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.”
Paul, recorded in, 2 Thessalonians 3:13 esvbible.org
Keep on keeping on!
I first heard this expression of encouragement and endurance long ages ago, while studying at a seminary in Texas.
I thought it was just an ol’ Southern Baptist urging, but I’ve since learned it has a much wider providence.
Paul’s exhortation comes near the close of the second of two letters he wrote to the sisters and brothers in the old city of Thessalonica.
Paul and Silas had planted the church there, a church with its own problems. These included a few folks who had decided to stop keeping on, and to let the others look after them, as they waited for the coming of the Lord Jesus.
Those who were keeping on were likely a little weary, and wary, of looking after the saints who had slacked off.
Growing weary from doing good is still a problem in our churches.
* We grow weary when we think our work is unknown.
So many followers of Jesus do so much that others just take for granted.
Do you know who sets up and then puts away the chairs if your church meets in a rented facility?
Do you know who makes the coffee and provides the snacks you enjoy after the service?
Do you know who sets up and prints the bulletin and other printed materials you receive when you arrive for church?
The good people who do all these tasks likely think you don’t, and sometimes they get weary of doing these necessary things Sunday after Sunday.
Maybe you should find out, and say thank you, every week.
* We grow weary when we think our work is unappreciated.
Most of the good saints I know do what they do, keeping on keeping on, because it is their service to the glory of God, and for building up His people.
But, really, we all like to be appreciated once in a while.
What we must always keep in mind is that all that we do in love and obedience for the Lord never, ever goes unnoticed.
“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” (Hebrews 6:10)
If Almighty God notices, then we better notice too, and express our appreciation, every week.
* We grow weary when we think our work is unfruitful.
I have seen this among pastors, and experienced it myself.
When much effort is made every week, to prepare and preach biblical sermons, and to faithfully pastor God’s people, and yet no growth appears, it’s easy to get weary.
Most of us like to see something come from our work, and yet we are called to be faithful, and not to count up our good works. Remember what Paul tells us:
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6–7)
We also grow weary when we think others are unimpressed with our ministry, or worse, ungrateful for what we do.
Is there an antidote for our weariness?
Well, we can try these ways of thinking, and see what happens.
1. We are called to keep on by considering our mission.
Our status, as ambassadors for Christ, and our citizenship, which is ultimately in heaven, are the highest privileges and responsibilities that our gracious God can bestow on us.
We are charged with carrying the gospel to the whole world, beginning inside the walls of our own home, and extending into every other place we go during the week.
No matter what comes to us when we obediently and faithfully carry our our mission, we keep on. Paul knew:
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)
2. We are called to keep on by continuing our message.
Our disciple-making begins with the message of the gospel. All of our good deeds must be accompanied by the words of salvation.
Our’s is not a popular message today.
Our’s is considered to be an antiquated message today.
Our’s is considered to be an unacceptable message today.
Here we need to learn a serious lesson from the apostles during the very early days of the church, when they were told to stop spreading the message of the gospel.
“But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.  The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.  God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.  And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.’”
3. We are called to keep on by completing our ministry.
A colleague was once informed by one of the church’s volunteers that a formerly dedicated worker was now refusing to serve in the church nursery, because she believed that, “God was finished with her.”
My friend, a wise pastor, went to visit this weary woman, and told her: “When God is finished with you, I will come and say some words over you.”
The weary woman was refreshed by this encouraging word, and she was back serving in the nursery the next Sunday.
Paul rejoiced in keeping on. right to the end.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7–8)
We have no greater example of the necessity of completing our ministry than in our Lord Jesus Christ, as he hung on the cross, and with His dying breath, uttered this:
“‘When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirIt.”
We need, under God, to finish what He has started in us.
In another of today’s readings, we see that David knew how to keep on keeping on, and David knew Who kept him keeping on.
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.” (Psalm 68:19
You getting weary yet?
Keep on keeping on!
Trust, and obey!
Soli Deo gloria!
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