Are you “worthy” of being a Christian?
I ask that because as the second letter to the Thessalonians opens, this is Paul’s prayer for them – and he mentions it twice.
Being “worthy” of the kingdom of God and Christ’s calling has nothing to do with meriting (or earning) that status – as if you deserve it. It has everything to do with honoring the status you have received by the way you live your life. Elders and Deacons are to be “worthy” of respect (1 Timothy 3:8; 5:17). They have the office, now they should live in such a way to honor their calling.
Paul lists the requisites for worthiness: a growing trust in God (faith), an increasing love for fellow Christians, and a dogged determination to live as God would have you to live in the face of temptation, opposition and persecution. Paul believed it also took something else: prayer. Particularly the prayers of others. It’s why he prayed for the Thessalonians and what he prayed for them. You might remember that as you go about your prayers and pray for your brethren, that they would be counted worthy of the Kingdom. You might also ask them to pray the same for you.
Remember something else too: “worthiness” is do-able, but it is not a destination. It is a direction; a direction of growing Christlikeness. Such a direction is critical considering the consequences of Christ’s inevitable return.