A Life Worthy of God’s Call

Last night I was reading 2 Thessalonians while waiting for the sleep study technician to come in and hook me up for a good night’s sleep. Actually, it was a terrible night’s sleep full of weird dreams and frequently waking up to find I was still connected to a computer monitoring my sleep patterns and vital signs. Then today 2 Thessalonians 1 came to mind twice, though I couldn’t recall what I had read that seemed to stick with me somewhere in my subconscious. So I decided I better go read it again. It was then that I remembered the part that stood out to me when I was reading last night.

In teaching about the second coming of Christ, which the Church was looking forward to and we still look forward to now, Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church:

When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him. So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:10-12.

Three things stood out for me in this passage and the book of Thessalonians as a whole. First, Paul says the Thessalonians are included in those who will praise Jesus on His return because they “believed what we told you about him.” Consistent with his teachings elsewhere, and the words of Jesus Himself, belief in Jesus as their Savior and King is what Paul says ensures that the Thessalonians will be part of the saved on the coming Day of the Lord. There were no good works that they could do, or their goodness itself, that would secure for them a place in God’s kingdom. It is the same for us.

The second thing that stood out to me was how the “life worthy of his call” came after belief and was enabled by God. Paul asked that God give the Thessalonians (and us) “the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.” Good works and obedience are definitely part of the Christian life, but they do not precede belief in Jesus as Lord, and they do not happen because of our own ability or power.

The third thing I noticed was that the Glory and Honor because of the Thessalonians (and our) good works and worthy lives will go primarily to Jesus because it is His grace that makes it all possible. On the Day of the Lord we “will be honored along with him.” However, there is no indication that we will receive any honor before that time or on our own. We will be honored only because we have relied on Jesus.

I tend to be very methodical about things and in my thinking about problems and their solutions. Perhaps that is my legal training, or maybe it is just a gift from God. Because of that I see this simple, logical progression of the human soul from lost to obedient child of God:

  1. God the Father draws the unbeliever to His Son, Jesus our Savior. John 6:44.
  2. The unbeliever hears the call and believes in Jesus as his Savior and atoning sacrifice for his sins. John 3:16.
  3. The new believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. Acts 10:44-47.
  4. The Holy Spirit works in the heart of the new believer to give him or her the desire to know God’s will and understand His Word, and the power to live a life worthy of God. 2 Thessalonians 1:11.

I know I’ve left out a lot of detail in this short list. And number 4 can take a lifetime of work. But that’s okay, because God is patient. He is much more concerned with a humble and contrite heart that desires obedience than perfect outward actions done to look good in the eyes of others. As Psalms 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

“Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.'” John 6:29. All else is the work of the Holy Spirit.

My prayer is that all believers, not least of all me, will stop thinking we can live a life worthy of God on our own, and call on the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to accomplish all of the good things our faith prompts us to do. Then Jesus will be glorified and honored, as it should be.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


4 Responses

  1. Linda,
    Great devotion, I LOVE when people write about the Holy Spirit as it is so vital to our walk. You are in my prayers everyday, as is our little group, but I will add the pain plea too. I understand the pain thing too. God Bless

    • Jim, I’m glad you enjoyed the devotion. I know I would be sunk without the Holy Spirit, but I think many well-meaning Christians fail to draw on that power and try to do it all themselves. As for the pain, I think it keeps me humble and relying on God, but I could do with a little less of it. Thanks for the prayers. Peace, Linda

  2. Linda I love your analytical mind! 🙂 How you put this all together. . .wonderful! I was encouraged by Jesus getting all the glory and honor from what we do. I love that. And how it is the Holy Spirit’s job to enable us to do what we are called to do. This was packed with great insights!

    Now . .. if it’s okay to ask, are you okay? Why the sleep study test? I will pray! Love how God works. You come away with a devotion from it all. 🙂

    Blessings and love, deb

    • Deb, As always, thanks for the encouragement. It is by the Holy Spirit that I am able to come away with a devotion from the circumstances in my life. As for the sleep study, just trying to get to the bottom of long-standing pain issues from fibromyalgia. I’m actually doing okay now, but trying to prevent a major pain flare up like I had 2 winters ago. Thanks for the prayers. They are appreciated, and I know God hears and will answer them. 🙂 Peace, Linda

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