Our Daily Homily, 2nd Thessalonians
That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you - 2 Thessalonians 1:12
Will you, dear Christian soul, enter into a solemn compact with the Holy Spirit that you will live for this as your supreme purpose, namely, to glorify the name (i.e., the character) of the Lord Jesus? This is his supreme purpose and aim throughout the present age. He seeks the glory of Jesus with the same persistent patience as Jesus sought the glory of His Father, and longs for our fellowship and cooperation. Nothing gratifies the Holy Spirit more than to welcome into partnership those who love the Lord Jesus with a consuming passion, and are prepared to glorify Him, at whatever cost to themselves.
It has made a great difference to my life since I responded to the call of the Spirit, as though He said directly, as once through His servant, "O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together." One has now a worthy object always in view, whether in speaking or keeping silence; in acting or suffering: in life or death-that the Lord Jesus may be magnified.
Does this seem too high an aim? Then ponder the gracious assurance that the Lord will fulfill every desire of goodness (2Th 1:11). He first instills the desire, and then realizes it; first suggests the outline plan, and then fills in the colors. Take your desires for goodness to Him, and trust Him, in all faithfulness, to realize and fulfill them. They are like the chalice which the child brings to the lake-side; impure, indeed, but capable of being rinsed; and the father, taking it from its hand, plunges it into the pellucid waters, that cleanse and fill to the brim. Thank God for every desire of goodness! But be not content till that which you desire is in actual possession; for He who prompts the desire is well able to fulfill it. T
God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation - 2 Thessalonians 2:13
From the beginning! Who shall compute the contents of the vast unknown abyss, which is comprehended in that phrase? The beginning of creation was preceded by the anticipation of Redemption, and the love of God to all who were one with Christ.
God's aim and purpose. Salvation. - Not simply our deliverance from the penalty, but from the power of all besetting sin; so that we may be delivered from the fear of our enemies, and serve Him in holiness and righteousness all our days. This He is prepared to give to us; but we must claim it by faith.
God's choice. - Whom He did foreknow He also did predestinate. From all eternity He saw those who would be attracted to Jesus by a Divine affinity, and these were included in His gift to the Son. "Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me, and they have kept Thy word." We must not presume on the eternal choice; but we may be very grateful that the tendencies emanating from the fall are met, in mid-flow, by the grace and choice of the Almighty.
God's method. Through sanctification of the Spirit. - The Holy Ghost sets us apart from sin, and consecrates us to God. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price." Our sanctification is not the property of our soul, but its possession of the Holy One; not an attribute, but a Person. And belief of the truth. Let the Word of God dwell in you richly. Hide it in your heart, that you may be kept from sin. We are sanctified by the truth in so far as we expose our hearts to its entrance and rule. We are cleansed by the washing of water through the Word.
The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ - 2 Thessalonians 3:5
"Direct" might be rendered "make straight." It is used of the apostle's own coming to these beloved converts in 1Th 3:11. It is as though he asked that their hearts might travel easily and swiftly along the road which leads into the love of God, and the patience which, untiring, waits for Christ.
The love of God. - We urgently need, for many reasons, to be brought into the love of God. Only so can our selfishness be conquered and expelled; only so can we become like God in our daily life and conversation; only this is the complete evidence to the world that our holy religion is true; only thus shall we have power to influence the lost and fallen; only so can we know God, "for he that loveth not, knoweth not God." But how can we learn to love? God alone can teach us and guide our way into this sacred art. His Holy Spirit must fill our hearts with His love; we must ever claim and receive it as our power for daily self-sacrifice, and we must be prepared to take every opportunity of sharing the love of God in unselfishness and thoughtfulness for those with whom we come in contact.
The Patience of Christ. - Thus the original might be rendered; and the beloved disciple confesses himself a brother and companion in the patience of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:9). We all know something of this. Longing for answers to prayers that are still delayed; yearning for the realization of hopes and ideals of which God's Spirit has spoken to us; waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. May we be led into something of that sublime faith and patience with which Jesus sits, until all things are put under Him, and He is satisfied.