Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16
The Lord calls us to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28). The fulfillment of the grand plan of God is our corporate and individual responsibility. God also has a unique and specific plan for each of our lives. Just as we are called to be stewards of the grand plan of God for the world, we are also called to take responsibility for the specific plan for our individual lives.
The Apostle of the Lord, Paul says to the Thessalonican Christians “11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” (1 Thes. 2:11-12)
What does it mean to live a life worthy of God? It is certainly possible to live our lives in such a way that is not worthy of God. Paul warns of those who are “idle or disruptive” in the way they live because they do not live according to the teaching of the Lord and the Apostles of God. (see 2 Thes. 3:6-15). God has given us very clear instructions on how we ought to live as a people who have been called to be representatives and heirs of his kingdom. As individual Christians, we each have uniquely been given specific gifts and responsibilities which will fulfill God’s specific calling for our lives.
The word “worthy” is usually used in the New Testament for Jesus. Jesus is “worthy” to receive glory and honor because of his willingness to suffer and die for the sins of the world. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!” cry the saints and angels of heaven in the book of Revelation. The word conveys “weightiness or substance” It is the same etymology as the word “Worship”. To worship is to ascribe worth, value, substance to the Lord God.
So what makes us worthy? For Paul, the test of our worth comes when we suffer for the name of Jesus. In those times where we stand firm in faith when others might shrink back, our worth is proven. Our lives bring glory and testimony to Jesus’ claim on us.
Our lives also become praise-worthy when aligned with God’s plan both on the grand level and in our unique calling. When we do what God has created and gifted us to do, others see it and acknowledge it. More importantly God ascribes praise to us. “Well done good and faithful servant.”
I love the poem entitled “The Touch of the Masters Hand” by Myra ‘Brooks’ Welch:
T’was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin,
but held it up with a smile; “What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?” “A dollar, a dollar”; then two!” “Only
two? Two dollars, and who’ll make it three? Three dollars, once; three
dollars twice; going for three..” But no, from the room, far back, a
gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow; Then, wiping the dust
from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings, he played a melody
pure and sweet as caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low,
said; “What am I bid for the old violin?” And he held it up with the bow.
A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two? Two thousand! And who’ll make
it three? Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice, and going and
gone,” said he. The people cheered, but some of them cried, “We do not
quite understand what changed its worth.” Swift came the reply: “The touch
of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin, A
“mess of pottage,” a glass of wine; a game – and he travels on. “He is
going” once, and “going twice, He’s going and almost gone.” But the Master
comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul
and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.
Our lives are instruments created by God to make beautiful music to the Lord. The worth of our lives is revealed when we allow the Master to tighten the bow and tune the strings. This is the work of aligning our character, morals and decisions with God’s revealed will found in the Bible. The music begins when we place our lives to his service by ministering to others using the unique spiritual gifts which the Lord has given us. God calls each of us by name so that he might glorify himself through our lives well lived.
He has a grand plan and a special plan for your life. Will you allow the touch of the master’s hand demonstrate your worth? Live your life worthy of God who has called you into his kingdom and glory!