Public Life - Private Calling

Public Life - Private Calling

Words of Faith 4-17-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Thessalonians 1

    [11] With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. [12] We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

        "With this in mind..."  With what in mind?  Paul had just revealed some powerful truth regarding the justice of God!

         The Lord will pay back trouble to those who trouble you, and He will give relief to those who are troubled.  A Day is coming when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven in blazing fire with His powerful angels.  There will be punishment for two groups of people-- those who do not know God and those who chose not to obey the Gospel of the Lord Jesus.  God will set everything right that needs to be set right. 

        There will be an everlasting punishment in which some will be irretrievably "shut out" from the presence of the Lord and the majesty of His power.  In this, the Lord will be glorified in His holy people, and this will include the Thessalonians who have been faithful to persevere through the persecution.

        So it was this image of justice in mind that Paul and his colleagues were moved to constant prayer.  Paul prayed that his Thessalonian brothers and sisters might live lifestyles that were consistent with their calling and destiny and that the Lord would be glorified in them and through them. This was a prayer for integrity in their walk with God such that their public life would match their private calling. His prayer was that they would not be found among those who had disobeyed the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.  His prayer was that the Name of the Lord Jesus would be glorified and not tarnished.

        This particular prayer began with the hope that God would reckon or declare the readers worthy of the calling they had received to come to God through faith in Jesus Christ.  Paul was clear that Christians do not live worthily in order to obtain salvation, but because they have been granted salvation.  Worthiness is a declaration of God's grace in our lives.

        Paul also prayed that God would bring to full expression every good purpose of theirs to glorify God, and every act motivated by their faith in God. This is similar to a thought that Paul later wrote to the church at Philippi-- "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose" (2:13).  God is at work in us to motivate us and accomplish His purpose by His power. 

        The ultimate purpose of this prayer was the glory of God. Everything that we are and do in response to Christ is purposed to glorify God.  Paul prayed that God's glory might be manifested in and through the Thessalonians, both immediately and at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  When this happens, the vessels that display the glory of God are themselves glorified by association with Him.

        Paul prayed that the Name of Jesus would be glorified.  In the Bible, a "name" stands for the person named-- his character, conduct, reputation, and everything else about him. In praying that the Name of Jesus would be glorified, Paul was asking that God would fully glorify Jesus Christ in these believers.

        How are we fed by this scripture?

        We live in a time when many claim belief in Christ as their salvation, yet we often hear of believers who have lacked integrity. It is a sad testimony that we often hear of both high profile scandals and low profile failures. Some claim boldly to be believers but yet choose just as boldly to disobey the Lord.  

       For many, public life often does not match up to the private calling of the Lord.  For many more, their private life with God does not match up with the public profession that has been made.  In all this, the Name of Jesus is not glorified but rather is tarnished.  What are we to do?

      We are to pray.  Our prayer for believers should be very much the same as Paul's.  Our prayer should be constant that the Lord would count believers worthy of His calling.  Our prayer should be for His power to fulfill every good purpose and act prompted by faith in Him.  Our prayer should be that the Name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in His children according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

         O God, I pray that the outward life of Christian believers would be in keeping with the inward calling that You have put upon their lives. I pray that the believers in my church and community would be counted worthy of Your calling by Your grace.  I pray that You would fulfill every good purpose and every act prompted by faith.  I pray that the Name of our Lord Jesus would be glorified through the Body of Christ according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus' mighty Name.