1 THESSALONIANS 2:11-12 – For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
THEME OF THE DAY. A SUSTAINING MOTIVATOR FOR A LIFE OF FAITHFULNESS. What motivates us to live daily for the Lord Jesus? What are the things that tug on our hearts each day moving us to live a life pleasing to the Lord? What lies behind our passion for holiness, to always have grace-filled speech, and to do all-out spiritual war against our remaining sin and worldliness? Well, we may list some good and solid Biblical motivators. Here are three that would be high on all our lists – love for the Lord, gratitude for His Grace, and the healthy fear of the Lord. But there is another one that will prove to sustain us to live a consistent life pleasing to the Lord. It will empower us to faithfulness when the “feeling” or emotion of our love for the Lord wanes, when the spirit of gratitude is easily forgotten, and the fear of the Lord gets replaced by the fear of circumstances and people. And it is logical, makes sense, and is natural for the Christian who understands what is behind our salvation. It is found in today’s scripture – the calling of God into His own kingdom and glory.
Salvation, the new birth and becoming a child of God, is initiated by God. He calls people to Himself. No one desires God, seeks God, or can come to God. The Apostle Paul would tell us, “As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:10-19). But then comes the calling of God. He opens the spiritual ears of people to hear the Gospel, understand their sin and separation from Him, and results in God granting them repentance and saving faith. From start to finish, salvation is all of God and based on His calling – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified (Romans 8:28-30). Now the motivating power of His calling.
Since God called us to Himself to become like Himself and to do so in obedience, it simply makes sense that we would embrace the calling. This is the type of thinking we are to adopt that makes God’s calling a sustained motivator for godly living; “It is only right, responsible, and a privilege to obey God’s calling. To resist it, ignore it, sin against it, and not embrace it makes no sense. This is my responsibility and privilege – to heed and follow the calling God has given to me.”
See the logic? The reasonableness? Such a mindset will propel us to a life of faithfulness regardless of emotions and ever-changing circumstances.
PRAYER: “Father, grip me with the truth of Your calling for me to present Your Son in all things.”
QUOTE: “The calling of God to walk with Him and His Son is our privilege and responsibility.”