You come highly recommended
Opportunities are usually offered to those who meet certain criteria. Those who want to be given special consideration should be willing to accept the terms, and do their bit to earn it. If everyone had easy access to great opportunities, hard work, discipline and sacrifice would be a rarity. In order to make the short list, we may have to go the extra mile or exceed expectations.
11 Therefore, we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His Goodness and the work of faith with Power, 12 that The Name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the Grace of our God and The Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1).
God chooses those He has called out of this world for His Purpose. God determines what He has ordained for each one. God’s Glory is the ultimate goal for each one who is called. Glorifying Christ is a prerequisite for God’s calling. We are glorified in Him when we overcome, by faith, the challenges that arise from being His followers. When we fulfill what pleases Him, God gives us more Grace to sustain us. By God’s Grace we remain in constant union with Him, and are kept by His Power and Goodness.
Praise The Lord! Blessed is the man who fears The Lord, who delights greatly in His Commandments. 2 His descendants will be mighty on Earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches will be in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. 4 Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness. He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
The righteous, who fear God, will flourish on the Earth. Since they have set their affections on keeping God’s Commandments, He will bless their lives with His Goodness. They nurture their children in the fear of God. The Lord will extend His blessings to the children of those who fear Him. Those who delight in The Lord curry favor with Him. The way to God is the path of obedience. Wealth and riches are bequeathed to those who aspire to live righteously, give generously and show mercy. God will fill their houses with an abundance of His Provision. The righteous acts of those who are upright will be passed on to generations, and so will their reward from God.
3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules (2 Timothy 2).
Awards are not just given to anyone. Those who get rewarded must demonstrate that they have earned their stripes. It takes grit, dogged determination and discipline to compete for a prize. Time is valuable to those who have goals; they know how to manage it to their benefit. Those who have committed themselves to serve The Lord will not fritter their lives on worthless endeavors. They will not engage in the things which will not advance their goals.
Endure hardship, just as an athlete limbers up their body to excel. A devoted follower of Christ should persevere through huddles, challenges and adversities, as they strive to please Him. We also should learn how to remain firmly footed on the course marked out for us, by doing what is required of us, and playing by the rules. God’s Word is our handbook for Christian living. The Christian’s life is no walk in the park, it is riddled with temptations, desires, hardship and discouragement: It is warfare against works of darkness. Daily battles are fought and must be won. Keep a stiff upper lip, and go from strength to strength. Christ, who dwells in us, gives us the power to defeat wickedness, and the strength to endure pain, sorrow and difficulty. If we remain one-track-minded, we will finish well and receive the crown of victory at the end of our race. God’s reward is for those who stuck it out to the end.
3 Blessed be The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant Mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in Heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the Power of God through faith, for Salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1).
We belong to God our Father, through the Life of The Lord Jesus Christ given to us. Our lives are now destined for purpose and glorious riches. Blessed are those who have been given all that is in Christ. Blessed are those who will live to inherit all that Christ has attained for them. The gift of Salvation is given to those who are kept by The Power of God. They have known God’s Power through thick and thin, and have not strayed from God’s Will. Those who have kept the faith will receive an eternal and undefiled inheritance, that is reserved for them in Heaven. By God’s abundant Mercy, we have an eternal hope, through Salvation and new life in Christ our Lord. Our inheritance as sons and daughters of God is imperishable, and guaranteed through eternal life in Christ.
34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The Word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— 37 that Word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with The Holy Spirit and with Power, Who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10).”
God is no respecter of persons: those who fear Him and live to please Him, regardless of their background and nationality, are accepted as His people. The Lord Jesus is Lord of all who come to Him in repentance, submission and surrender. He taught and healed everyone who was in need of physical and spiritual restoration. He did not discriminate on gender, race or age. All those who desire to know God and be at peace with Him have access to Him. No one is excluded from God’s manifold Grace, Truth and Love; except those who are obstinate, proud, and rebellious.
12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1 Timothy 4).
Let no one despise you, or look down upon you as a believer, because of your age, your recent conversion as a follower of Christ, or for any reason at all. You have been redeemed out of this world, by the death of Christ on The Cross. You belong to Him and your identity is found in Him. You have been set apart to be godly in your speech, to conduct yourself righteously in Christ, to love God and others, to live in the spirit and not give in to fleshly lusts, to live by faith in God, as you strive for purity.
17 “Therefore prepare yourself and arise, and speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces, lest I dismay you before them. 18 For behold, I have made you this day a fortified city and an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, against its princes, against its priests, and against the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you (Jeremiah 1).”
When God appoints His people for His Purpose, He will work in concert with them. He will also prepare them to be on the receiving end of criticism, opposition and attacks. He becomes their shield and defense. Those who have a mandate from God will execute His Plans. He warned Jeremiah that if he failed to speak what He commanded him, he would be mortified. There’s no getting away from God, when He has put the onus on you to serve Him.
God has appointed each of His chosen ones for His Purpose. They will set their faces against all opposition to do what He has commanded them. No one will get in the way of God, and no one will stand in the way of those He has appointed. God will always defend and protect those who serve Him. He will make them as tough as nails, and bold as brass, to complete the task He has given them. He imparts His Strength and Power to defeat every foe who gets in the way. You are qualified to succeed, because God is with you to deliver you.
6 Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which The Lord said to Moses, the man of God, concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of The Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. 8 Nevertheless, my brethren who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt, but I wholly followed The Lord my God. 9 So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed The Lord my God.’
13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed The Lord God of Israel (Joshua 14).
What great rewards await those who wholly follow The Lord! Caleb was unfazed by the misgivings of those who saw Canaan as no-man’s-land, because of the giant men who lived there. Caleb was determined to go and fight for the inheritance God had already given the children of Israel. He spoke glowingly of the fruitful land; a land flowing with milk and honey. Caleb spoke more highly of its potential than the obstacles they would have to overcome. He believed and trusted in The Lord, more than his ability to overcome the challenges. He believed God wholly.
Are you following God wholly? When you come to the realization that God goes ahead of you to give you what He has promised, you will focus your attention on His Greatness. Tune out the pessimism, and perk up to all that God has for you. Following God wholly will require your undivided attention. Don’t be dismayed by listening to quitters or naysayers. Set your sights on attaining what God has apportioned for you. Seize your opportunity to inherit what He has commanded you to possess. God rewards those who are committed to complete their mission.
4 Remember me, O Lord, with the favor You have toward Your people. Oh, visit me with Your Salvation, 5 that I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation, that I may glory with Your inheritance (Psalm 106).
Don’t be bashful to ask for a piece of the pie. God chose the children of Israel to receive the blessings He promised Abraham. No other nation has been the apple of God’s Eye as Israel. Can God bless you as He blesses another? Pray for the blessings of others; pray for the nation of God, Israel, that you too may be numbered among those who are God’s inheritance. God’s favor to others can be ours as well. When we want what’s best for others by praying for them, we can ask God to remember us too. The benefits of Israel, God’s chosen ones, can be extended to those who desire and long for their peace and prosperity. Desire to know the joy and Salvation of those who belong to God.
Don’t forfeit your calling. You have been chosen for God’s Purpose to be here today. Your qualifications are the ones that God has given you. God has approved and appointed you to glorify Christ, each day you draw breath. There are no coincidences when it comes to God. If you delight in The Lord, He will delight in you, and appoint you for great service. He will reward you for your grit and commitment. Salvation is your priceless reward that is guaranteed, with many other blessings that will never fade away. Don’t squander your chance to attain all that God has for you. He will guide, instruct, defend and bless you, if you stay the course. Remember His people, Israel, and be part of the household of the chosen ones.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation (1 Peter 2).