Accomplishing God’s Will – Part 2

Called To Joy And Gratitude

So we are called to be holy, and called to evangelize. We are called to live out the gift and fruit of salvation in Jesus and to share that gift with many others. We are called to be like Christ, and to act like Christ, especially in his compassion for the lost sheep.

Now that is not easy to do. The world, the flesh and the devil all conspire to keep us in bondage. And even for those who are becoming good Christians, we often think mainly of ourselves. And perhaps for those who try to reach out to others, we easily feel the burden of service. Then we might lost heart or even grumble.

And so there is one other aspect of God's will that becomes crucial for us, as we seek to become holy evangelizers. Paul writes, “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thes 5:16-18). We are to be a joyful, prayerful and thankful people. At all times and in all circumstances.

We can be joyful because our joy is not dependent on our day-to-day circumstances. We rejoice because we are in the Lord, and we look forward to being with him eternally in heaven. We rejoice in knowing that God is at work in us, assuring us of his presence and help always. Thus, whatever is happening to us and around us, we can rejoice. We have a grander vision, beyond the trials and pain of the moment.

“Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor 4:16-18). In light of that, yes, we can rejoice always!

One reason for our joy is having God on our side and helping us through life. On our own we would be easy prey for Satan. Thus we need to continue to be intimately connected with God. And this is basically through prayer. Since we need to be connected with God always, then we are to pray without ceasing. This entails not just having our personal times with the Lord, not just engaging in communal worship, but having a posture of prayer at all times. This happens as we come to the Lord often during our day, just shooting up prayers now and then, and also maintaining an awareness at all times that the Lord walks with us, whatever we are doing. Thus we are not only in communication with God, but we are in communion with God.

Given that God is with us in all circumstances, then we ought to be thankful. We are thankful because “we know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28).

We are thankful because “if God is for us, then who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:3 1). We are thankful because nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:39). In the face of all that, if we are not thankful, in all circumstances, then we are ignorant and stupid and pitiable. We ought not be such.

Just Like Jesus

Jesus did the Father's will. He was clear in why he was sent into the world, as he averred, “I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” (Jn 6:38). Thus, in the face of impending torture and an ignominious death, feeling sorrow and distress, Jesus still prayed to the Father, “not as I will, but as you will.” (Mt 26:39).

In fact, Jesus sought only to do the will of the Father. “I cannot do anything on my own; …I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.“ (Jn 5:30). We, like Jesus in relation to the Father, ought to do not our own will but the will of the one who sends us. And Jesus has indeed sent us.

Doing the Father's will was so much Jesus' very life, his very purpose. Thus Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.” (Jn 4:34). We ought to be like Jesus. We ought to know that God continues to help us become holy men and women. We ought to be “confident of this, that the one who began a good work in (us) will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6). God will not only finish his work in us, but we too need to finish the work passed on to us. And doing God's will ought to be, just like physical food, indispensable to our very lives.

In The End

So let us be holy men and women who can finish the work of bringing salvation in Christ to the world. So that when the day of Christ Jesus comes, we might be ready, together with all the men and women we have evangelized. The world will end, but our lives forever with God will continue forever.

That is, if we do the Father's will.

“Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.” (1 Jn 2:17). Amen.

1. How am I growing in holiness? In what ways am I failing to imitate Jesus in my day-to-day life?

2. Am I doing my share in proclaiming the good news? Have I actually invited people to our worship? Am I open to serving in whatever way my elders think appropriate? What else do I intend to do?

3. Am I a person who is joyful, prayerful and thankful? At all times and in all circumstances?

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