2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Wednesday, 25 August 2021
“To this end we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire of goodness and the work of faith with power …. ” -2 Thes. 1:11
2 Thessalonians was written by Apostle Paul soon after 1 Thessalonians in order to correct some misunderstandings about the End times and to counter false teachings that had crept into the church. Even though continued progress was indicated by their faithfulness to the gospel, false teachers had misled some to stop even their daily work and wait for the Lord, saying the Day of the Lord was already at hand!
Our reading today begins with Paul appreciating the Thessalonian believers about their faith (Vs.3-5). Paul further gives a description of the Second Coming of the Lord to correct their misconceptions: He will be revealed from heaven; He will come with mighty angels; He will come in flaming fire. Then Paul explains that the Lord will repay those who persecuted them but honour them who suffered, with rewards.
He encourages them to stand steadfast in their faith despite the persecution and false doctrines. A few key elements to this are given in today’s reading
It is God who will evaluate their faith and efforts (vs11) “To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling…” This ultimately should be the aim of every believer- to be found worthy of God who has called him/her by His great grace and to be found faithful in the calling He has ordained for each one so that the name Lord Jesus will be glorified in us.
They were growing in faith (vs3)- The Thessalonian believers’ growth in faith was strong indication of maturing in their Christian walk- that is so for us too! Hebrews 11: 6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Since what we see around us is temporal, the believer is called to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2Cor.5:7). Faith helps us to trust in a GOD who has promised to be faithful!
They were growing in love (vs3)- Growing in love is another indication of growing in Christ. Jesus first loved us and so we are to love one another (John 13:34). And Paul had emphasized this in the first letter: “…may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you;” (1Thes.3:12)
They were standing steadfast through persecution (vs4)- Paul said: “we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.” As in the early days of the church, many suffered for their faith in Christ, we see today too persecution on the rise. In 1Peter 4:12-19 gives encouragement for those who go through fiery trials. Here Paul encourages the believers: “…you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.” (2 Thes.1: 5)
They rejected false teachings- The false teachers were trying to sidetrack the Thessalonian believers, Paul gave them sound doctrine to make them firm in their faith. Paul talks of the judgment upon those who do not follow sound doctrine when the Lord will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire (Vs 7-10). But those who stood firm would be counted by God as worthy.
As we meditate on these 5 aspects of the Thessalonian believers being counted worthy of their calling, can we also surrender our lives to Christ that we too will stand before Him being counted worthy? May we glorify Christ Jesus through our lives and we be glorified in Him! Amen
Act on it: “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith,…” (Col.2:6,7)