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Echo Evangelique

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Prayer for the saints in Preparation for the Return of Christ

Text: 2 Thess. 1:11-12

Key Concepts:

  • Paul prayed that we may be worthy of our calling
  • Paul prayed that God would fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness
  • The outcome of the first two prayer requests

If you were to chose one word to capture the purpose of your salvation, what would it be? Some might say eternal life, others going to paradise. Still some may say reigning with Christ forever. While these answers have their merit, they could not fully represent the ultimate purpose of our salvation. The one word that truly reveals that purpose is glorification. In fact, the ultimate outcome, accomplishment, and consummation of the plan of redemption is for Christ to be glorified in us and us in Him (2 Thess. 1: 10).  Paul was so convinced of this truth that he not only affirmed it throughout his epistles but made it a subject of his prayer for all the churches, all believers and particularly for the Christians of Thessalonica. Whereas Christ’s return will mean judgement and destruction for unbelievers, for believers His return is not only eagerly anticipated but it will be a rewarding event. In preparation for that day of glorification, Paul prays that the purpose of the Thessalonian’s salvation may be fulfilled in them presently. Indeed, this glory to come should be manifest in our lives today. This is our destiny, our passion, our zeal, and the standard by which we should live.

Paul prayed that we may be worthy of our calling

Paul first of all prayed that “God would count [the Thessalonians] worthy of [their] calling”. He is referring to the calling to glorify God. This calling is also for Christ to be glorified in us. Paul uses the expression “worthy of our calling” not only as a prayer, but at times as an exhortation that should characterize our lives (1 Thess. 2:12). The word that translates to ‘worthy’ refers to the equilibrium of weight on a balance scale. This means that there is a criterion that is set as measure of weight. Our responsibility and Paul’s prayer is that we would measure up to that standard. The weight of God’s holy character is on one side of the scale. The Holy Spirit actively enables us via progressive sanctification to match that weight. Through obedience to the Word of God, we add virtue. We let the fruit of the Spirit permeate our lives. Then ultimately our character will come to match that of God. This is also the process by which we glorify God and become worthy of His calling (Phil 1:27, Eph. 4:1). Obviously, the word ‘worthy’ does not refer to merits, to the ability to earn anything from God (which is impossible). To walk worthy of God is to bear fruit; to increase in the knowledge of God (which entails abiding in the Word of God); to joyfully endure by God’s power and be always thankful to God (Col. 1:10). Does this describe your life or are you living a life that is unbecoming a child of God?      

Paul prayed that God would fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness                                                                                                     

Paul also prayed that God would “fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power” (2 Thess. 1:11). God, through the Holy Spirit, enables us to have the desire to please Him (Phil. 2:12-13). Paul’s prayer is for God to fulfill good desires in us (Ps. 37:4). The “work of faith” Paul mentioned is a working faith that produces fruit through the power of God (Jam. 2). This working faith produces the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) which is its evidence.

The outcome of the first two prayer requests

Lastly, Paul prayed “that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in [us] according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:12). This last request reveals the ultimate consummation of the plan of redemption. The glory of Christ is our calling, our destiny, and our future. We must live lives worthy of this future. God declared us justified by faith and thus fit for His kingdom. He then sent us His Spirit to make us worthy through the process of sanctification. He does this to make us worthy of the glory of His Son. To be glorified in us means that God will not be disappointed in us, not ashamed to be called our God (Heb. 11:16). The glory of our lives, that of the Church, and all that we do, must match the glory of His sacrifice, the glory of the Cross, the glory of His Resurrection, and the glory of His return.  The glorification is then reciprocal, when Christ is glorified in us, we are glorified in Him as well (1 Sam. 2:30 ). Are you living up to that?

In conclusion ….

Our prayer must be to match God’s ultimate glory. In order for that to happen, we must know who we are. We have been bought by the precious blood of Christ. We carry His name wherever we go. Indeed we “are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that [we] may declare the praises of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Pet.2:9). We have received a noble call that demands an equally noble conduct. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). Until the Lord Jesus Christ is fully glorified in us and us in Him, let us pray that our God will count us worthy of His calling and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and work faith with power in order that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified according to His grace.

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