How often have we heard this phrase spoken with regard to accomplishing some task? My dad always told me that nothing is worth doing unless you are willing to do the very best job… never give a token effort, it’s better to not even try.
I have lived that way all of my life and found that it both brings positive results and frustration. I have always done the “best” because it usually brings a positive response from those involved or those observing. In other words… it had a lot to do with what other people think about me. But that is not what God has in mind when He asks us for our “best” …
2 Thess 1:11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,
It’s a “good ” thing to be sanctified by our decision to give our life to the Lord and be set apart in Him. But there is a higher life that He has for us … the “best” … which we are able to enter into; the highest life of all the possibilities of our faith and love in Him.
It’s like graduating from high school or college. There are two levels of graduation: just passing all the required courses or passing with honors for having reached above and beyond. Paul had that picture in mind…
1 Cor 9:24-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Paul wanted nothing less than an imperishable crown. What Paul wanted was the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ. After the revelation of Jesus on the road to Damascus, good and better was not enough for Paul. And that day came when his prize for living the “best” life in Christ was won …
2 Tim 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
God isn’t looking for great quantities of work from us, He is looking and expecting the highest qualities… the “best.” That is the good fight worth fighting, the race worth finishing and the faith worth keeping… That is living the “best” life in Christ.
2 Thess 1:12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.