Worthy, Effective, Faithfilled, Glorious, Grace-abounding Recipients of the Gospel
From 2 Thessalonians 1:
"In view of this great prospect, we pray for you constantly, that God will think you worthy of this calling, and that he will effect in you all his goodness desires to do, and that your faith makes possible. We pray that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may become more glorious through you, and that you may share something of his glory—all through the grace of our God and Jesus Christ the Lord..."
This is one of those very “Paul paragraphs” that’s so packed with phrasing and power that we’ll oftentimes take nothing from it; something like, “Ah yes, hmmm, that’s quite deep…” But, through the lens of Jesus, consider the full reality of what’s being said here:
1. “worthy of this calling” – We read the word “worthy” and think: “Uh, oh. Me? Worthy?” But the word Paul uses is the exact same word as the one spoken by the Prodigal Son to his father, “I’m not worthy to be called your son.” And the father, really Jesus’, response to that self-assertion? “‘Hurry!’ called out his father to the servants, ‘fetch the best clothes and put them on him! Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet, and get that calf we’ve fattened and kill it, and we will have a feast and a celebration! For this is my son—I thought he was dead, and he’s alive again. I thought I had lost him, and he’s found!’ And they began to get the festivities going.” (Luke 15:22-24) That's how "worthy" He thinks we are!
2. “his goodness desires to do” – HE will effect what HE desires in your life. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)
3. “faith makes possible” – YES! That’s the kind of faith you can't get away from in the Gospels! The statements of Jesus that “It is your faith that has made you well,” cf. Luke 5:20, 7:50, 8:48, 8:50, 17:19, 18:42.
4. “share something of his glory” – If you know the Westminster Shorter Catechism at all, you probably know the first question: “What is the chief end of man?” The answer: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy him forever.” Yet it’s the Larger Westminster Catechism that adds two additional descriptors that make it even more fun: “What is the chief and highest end of man?” The answer: “Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.” Let’s be “Larger” rather than “Shorter” believers in the way we go after the highest, fullest enjoyment of Jesus!
5. “all through the grace” – Yes, it’s ALL through the grace!
Oh Jesus, you've made us worthy, effective, faithfilled, glorious, grace-abounding recipients of your Gospel! Thank you for the immensity of your designs and directives in us!
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