Focus text: 2Thessalonians 1:10-12
Continuing on the series; prayers of the new testament, the focus of today is on living to exemplify Christ. In 2 Thessalonians 1:10-12 brother Paul prayed that “when he (Jesus) shall come to be glorified in his saints and to be admired in all that believe because of our testimony…in that day. Wherefore, we also pray always for you that our God will count you worthy of this calling and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and you in him…”
From this prayer it can be seen that Christ will be glorified only in us, in our lives and not in the church buildings. The authenticity of the gospel should be made clear to the world around us, that even without preaching to people they would see Jesus in us. The prayer in verse 11 is that God will count us worthy of his calling and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith with power. Salvation is free but it demands that we work to consolidate it and make our election sure.
In Revelations 3:4, we see this “thou hast a few name even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments and they shall walk with me in white for they are worthy’. It’s obvious that God knows your struggles and how you’ve remained spotless in the secret. It is the desire of God that we should be found worthy of his calling. Our lives should not be a disappointment to him. From this it appears that our election is probational. It is not once saved always saved as some teach erroneously. We have been given a chance to prove worthy of the privilege of salvation that we received. When Christians do not walk worthy of this calling, the testimony of Christ is weak in a given vicinity. The aroma and fragrance of Christ should follow us wherever we go.
In verse 12 he continues. “wherefore, we also pray always for you that our God will count you worthy of this calling and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith with power”. God has called us to glory, virtue and moral excellence. We had been sinners in the past each of us or may be you are yet to say yes to Christ. No matter your status anyone who has embraced Jesus as lord and saviour must move towards fulfilling the good pleasure of his goodness in us. In Titus 3:8 “this is a faithful saying and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works…” Sadly many Christians limit this work of grace in their lives. We usually short circuit God by refusing to surrender completely to him. God is always out for us to live a complete fulfilled life in him but our unwillingness and disobedience often affect us and reduce us to from reaching God’s perfect desire for us
In verse 12 we see again ” that the name of our lord Jesus Christ may be magnified in you and you in him according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ”. This means that when we are living lives worthy of this calling as in verse 11, then Christ will be lifted, glorified and exalted in us for the world to see. This is also what Mt 5:15-16 teaches, we are the light and salt of the earth, hence, we must let the light shine so that men will glorify God in us. Nowadays, there is so much shouting and little or no shinning. Whereas in Philippians 1:21 Paul could say, ” for to me to live is Christ and to die is gain! Meaning whether I am alive or dead that Christ may be magnified in us. Our Christianity should not be that of outward conformity or shouting in the gathering at church but rather to us, our Lives must exemplify Christ in our schools, churches, families, communities, business premises, offices, neighbourhood…everywhere we go. Our conduct must be a reference point. When people see us, they should see Jesus. We must reflect his image.
I will like you to ask yourself these pertinent questions: is Christ magnified in me? Is he being seen in my life? In my dressing, my way of talking, my interactions, in my business conduct and practices? Will Christ find me worthy in my secret life? My affairs, my emotions, my affections and desires? Will he find me pure and spotless as a bride waiting for her husband? My salvation which I profess before men, is it a Sham? We must answer these questions honestly and pray intensely for cleansing and purification. That we may be purged of every dirtiness, every tardiness so as to be ready at his appearing.
PRAYER: father we live today in a world where our Christianity has been reduced to an empty noise and routine rituals. Revive us O lord to live again lives that will exult and exemplify you. That men will not make mistake about our identity in you. We ask in Jesus previous name, Amen!