10 You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; 11 just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, 12 so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
I love Paul’s confidence here. I believe this confidence is a result of remaining true to the Word and God’s calling in his life. Otherwise, it would be contradictory and wouldn’t have the same effect. Isn’t it a blessing to know God is behind you because you are following His will? This is what I get out of verse 10. Paul, knowing he is carrying out God’s purpose for his life, is able to state his actions as upright, devout, and blameless.
Look at how he describes their ministry to the Thessalonians, as a father would his own children. The purpose of this statement is to express the love. Let’s think about this: what else has been described in this way? God’s love for us. Likewise, Paul and his crew love the Thessalonians the same way. This is how we are to carry God’s light into the world, by following and mimicking His love to others. This is how we SHOW the Gospel, not just talk about it. I know I may be sounding like a repeating record, but it is so important and we miss it so much!
I believe verse 12 can easily be skipped over. The first half addresses why Paul loves them the way he does. It was to show the awesomeness of being a follower of Christ to encourage them to do the same. He did it out of love so they could live in freedom as he does, not so that he could boast about how many people he converted. It wasn’t about him, but rather his love for them. Sound familiar? This is the same reason Christ died for our sins. It wasn’t so He could say, “look at me; I’m the savior of the world!” No, He knows who He is. It was so we could have a relationship with God and because He loved us so much! Paul here is reflecting that same love to those he speaks to.
The second half of the verse shows a subtlety that is important to grasp. The God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. He calls us. He calls us all. He wants a relationship with all of us and loves us all completely. As we discussed before, God has chosen us all to be His, but we still have to make the choice to be chosen. Does this sound upside down? Certainly. God’s kingdom is not of this world and therefore makes no sense to the ways of this world. God calls us all, but we still have the choice to answer the call. He continues to call us, even though we let it go through to voicemail.
Why haven’t you answered the call?