Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
When was the last time someone prayed a prayer over you? What kind of things do you like to hear prayed for you? Blessing? Prosperity? Good health?
Sometimes I find myself praying for my kids and grandkids and asking God to keep them safe and healthy and happy in the Lord. I definitely want those things for them, but they aren’t the greatest needs in their lives. Some needs can only be met by going through those “hard times.” It’s through struggles in life we learn to TRUST God and develop the unshakable faith that the Bible speaks about.
You Can’t Go Through Life in “Bubble Wrap”!
So, instead of praying that God would just wrap us all up in bubble wrap so that we never feel any pain or have any problems, it might help for us to look at the PRAYERS that are prayed in the Bible. When I’ve been asked to pray for certain people and don’t specifically know how to pray for them, I often open my Bible and pray Scripture that pertains to their needs and requests. After all, it’s God’s WILL, His words that I’m praying for and not my own.
So as we look together at these 2 verses, 11-12, Paul writes, “With this in mind…”
What is Keeping this in “MIND”, mean? (Vv. 1-10)
The fact that your faith is growing, your love is increasing, you are hanging in there during the hard times, justice and judgment is coming to those who reject God and abuse and mistreat you, and final and ultimate salvation is coming for those of you who trust in Jesus!
“With this in mind,” Paul says, “WE ARE CONSTANTLY PRAYING FOR YOU”
What does Paul pray, and what can we learn from it?
“That God would consider you WORTHY of His calling.”
What does that mean? How can we be considered WORTHY of God’s calling? Is this then like being a paying customer, not just taking up space and using up oxygen in the room? Does it mean to make yourself useful?
“GOD’S CALLING” –
Here, it’s likely a reference to the ultimate and final salvation of God’s people.
In another of Paul’s letters to the churches (Philippians), he talks about the upward call of God. To be considered WORTHY of His call and to be with Him forever means they will keep trusting God to the very end.
His CALLING ISN’T TO JUDGMENT, but to life and joy with Him forever!
There are some requirements needed, according to Paul in his letter:
In the context of both letters to the church in Thessalonia, and in this chapter, ENDURANCE and KEEPING THE FAITH are necessary for one to be considered WORTHY of God’s calling into His awesome presence, especially in the face of persecution.
WORTHY doesn’t mean that we can earn our way into heaven. Eternal life with God is the FREE GIFT of God. We can’t earn it or do we deserve it!
That God would fulfill every good purpose (“all the good things”) of yours (by His POWER).
God does have a PURPOSE for our lives!
There may be a number of purposes for your life; God’s, Satan’s, yours, and other people’s. This is all about bringing your purposes or intentions, your views, into alignment with God’s! It has to do with moral conduct.
I know, good moral conduct can’t SAVE us and make us right with God, BUT…it’s part of God’s purpose for us!
“For this is the WILL of God, your sanctification (separated and set apart for pure and holy living)” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3 AMP.
So the Thessalonian believers had shown perseverance (a never give up mentality) in the face of their persecution for their faith having demonstrated their faith, love and Godly living in the midst of it. What Paul seems to be praying here is that God would help them followthrough with these things of being faithful to Him to that very day!
2 Thessalonians 2:3 “…for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first”
NOTE: Apostasy comes from the Greek word, Apostasia – The falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come.
That God would fulfill every faith-prompted act (by His POWER).
“…and [His] every gracious purpose of goodness, and with power may complete in [your] every particular work of faith (a faith which is that leaning of the whole human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness).” (Amplified Bible)
I really like this phrase. You’ve no doubt heard of acts of random kindness. Well, these Christians had begun doing continual acts of faith!
Faith-prompted actions are things we do because of our trust in God.
We learn to be generous with those in need because God is like that, and we want to be like Him!
Acts of obedience are considered faith-prompted acts. We obey God because we love, honor, and trust Him in His promises!
But it wasn’t enough!
These Christ-followers didn’t simply begin these faith acts and then let them taper off. No. Paul knew they would need God’s help to keep them obeying Him, in loving others, being generous, and serving those around them.
QUESTION: HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR LOVE AND FAITH HAVE COOLED OFF?
When it becomes more about you and less about those around you. We need God’s help in carrying out our good intentions and obey and please Him fully.
So Paul’s words here in his letter required them to realize that they aren’t alone! God is at work in their lives, and when He works in us, it’s powerful!
That the NAME OF JESUS Be Glorified In You – (2 Thessalonians 1:12)
The RESULT of following through with our good intentions to remain FAITHFUL to God–even in the midst of persecution–is that people will see Jesus in us! Instead of doing good things so we can receive attention and praise from others, we must live so that others will notice Jesus at work in us!
People need to see Jesus being GLORIFIED or spotlighted in your life–in your words, and your actions.
Matthew 5:16 (AMP)
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.”
That you would be glorified in Christ Jesus.
Finally, Paul shows that Jesus also helps accomplish OUR GLORIFICATION (present/future). It all begins when we call on the Lord and the Holy Spirit that it all begins to work in our lives.
2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us,
Our glorification comes to fruition when Jesus comes back for us, as He promised!
He will give us new bodies, transforming us into His likeness!
God has called us to a higher place. Are you trusting and growing in Him? Is Jesus being glorified in your intentions and your actions?
PRAY FOR YOUR CHURCH AS PAUL PRAYED FOR THE CHURCHES.
Images/Photos: Google image search.
Bible Translations: New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP); New Living Testament (NLT); Interlinear Bible.
Dictionary: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary Of Old And New Testament Words.