For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Are You Qualified for Heaven?

Before teams or athletes are allowed to participate in the Olympics, they need to qualify for Olympic competition. Individual athletes need to beat out the competition from their own country and also meet international qualifying standards. Teams often need to navigate through qualifying tournaments. You can’t just sign up to compete in the Olympics as if it were a local 5k race.

Are you qualified—not for the Olympics, but to go to heaven? In our section of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Colosse, Paul mentions some things God desires from us. “Bearing fruit in every good work.” “Growing in the knowledge of God.” “Having great endurance and patience.” “Joyfully giving thanks to the Father.”

Admittedly, we have to confess that we haven’t done those things according to God’s standards. We haven’t done every good work. When going through hardship or stressful days, we don’t always have “great endurance and patience”—not with God and not with others. When we think life has handed us a bunch of lemons, we don’t always raise our voices in joyful thanks to God. We just don’t meet God’s qualifying standards (and these are just a few of the many areas.)

Thankfully, Paul clearly tells us that it is GOD who qualifies us for heaven. Paul wrote about God’s saving work for us in several different ways. He mentions that God the Father “qualified you to share” in heaven. God “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” God has redeemed us. God has forgiven our sins. What’s the point? GOD has qualified you for heaven!

If you qualify for the Olympics, you’re probably not going to quit training. You hone your skills, train your body and prepare mentally for the competition. You keep working hard. Only now you’re not training hard to qualify for the Olympics…you’re already going.

Through faith in Jesus, Christians are already qualified and are going to heaven. But this doesn’t mean Christians quit working hard. Why do we keep on doing “every good work”? Why are we interested in “growing in the knowledge of God”? Why do we strive to have “great endurance and patience”? Not to qualify for heaven, but to live in joyful thanks because God has given us so much!

Prayer: God, our Father, you rescued me when I was lost. You qualified me for what I do not deserve—forgiveness and heaven. Thank you! Let my life be filled with joyful thanks, good works, and great endurance and patience. Amen.

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