top of page
  • Writer's pictureTim Hemingway

Live a Life Worthy

Last time we learnt that the Spirit of God takes the Word of God and illuminates it so that the believer is given nothing short of divine wisdom and understanding to know the will of God for their lives. The aim or goal of that process is: that people – ordinary human beings like us - might be able to live lives worthy of the Lord and pleasing in his sight.

Living a life worthy of God means living a life worthier than the one you need to live to please your partner at home. And, living a life worthy of God means living a life worthier than the one you need to live to please your teacher at school. And, it means living a life worthier than the one you need to live to please your boss at work. It means living a life worthier than the one you need to live to serve your council, or your country, or your king. It means living a life worthier than the one you need to serve any earthly organisation or institution; educational, political or social.

Living a life worthy of God means living a life worthy of the Creator of the whole universe; the creator of monarchs; the creator of governments and institutions. It means living a life worthy of a person who is infinite, eternal and unchangeable in holiness, in righteousness, in power, and in perfection. Who made everything with the Word of his mouth - instantaneously.

So, I ask myself, how does a person like me – dependant, finite, broken, sin-full, weak, changeable – how do I, on this side of glory, even speak the words ‘a life worthy of the Lord’, let alone accomplish a life that looks like that?

Surely, it can’t be done.

Surely Paul you’re mistaken’.

Surely you’re speaking aspirationally, not expectantly’.

Well, no.

He’s not speaking merely aspirationally.

He does have a hope and an expectation that, on this side of glory we will live lives that at least, at times, are pleasing and worthy of the Lord.

So, what does that kind of life look like?

Well it sounds like Paul is telling us it looks like a tree.

A tree with roots down into soil.

A tree with a strong trunk and solid branches.

A tree with succulent green leaves and a broad canopy.

A tree with fruit that grows in due season.

That is what I see when I read verses 10-14.

I see a Christian planted in a beautiful mature garden. I see the sun shining on it (the Spirit of God) and a skilled gardener (Jesus) who tends to the tree every day and fertilises it with grace. I see a soil that is rich and fertile, called ‘the gospel of the cross of Jesus Christ’ and ‘the hope of glory’ (v.13-14). Then I see a trunk, strengthened by God’s power with longevity, and made ready to withstand storms (v.11). Above that I see a canopy of leaves, full of joy and bursting with thanksgiving (v.12).

And, on its branches I see the ripe and sweet fruit of good works hanging low and ready for picking (v.10). And, I see the whole thing growing.

Always growing.

This is what the Christian life that is pleasing to God looks like. A mature specimen of a tree; flourishing in the garden of God.


Firstly, the soil is not the tree, but it essential to the tree. No soil means no tree. If we are to be a tree in God’s garden, it will be because our roots reach down deep into the soil of the Cross of Calvary. That’s where Jesus went for us if we are believers. He went there, verse 13 says, to rescue us from the kingdom of Satan and to transfer us into his own Kingdom. Once that transaction has happened, the reverse journey can never be taken.

Once a subject of the kingdom of light, always a subject of the kingdom of light.

There, at the cross, Jesus redeemed our lives from the pit, at the cost of his own life.

There he cancelled the charges against us by nailing them, with himself, to the cross (Col 2:14).

And by His work on that cross, he has made us eligible to share in an eternal inheritance that he’s prepared for us (1 Cor 2:9).

Any other soil, is bad soil.

Any other soil is not rich enough to support this tree.

The Christian’s roots must go deep into the soils of the gospel, if he or she is to be pleasing to God.


Secondly, a Christian is a tree with a strong trunk and thick branches. It’s a tree with solidity. God must give this strength (v.11). God must add the girth himself. If you were to cut this tree through and count the rings, you would count many, because this tree is a long-standing tree. The Christian that pleases God is the one that stays the course (2 Tim 4:7). He or she is the Christian who is not blown about by every wind of teaching (Eph 4:14). He or she is not the kind of person who listens to all the latest ideas (Acts 17:21) and is unstable in their mind; doubting God (James 1:8). The Christian that pleases the Lord is the one who is steadfast in God, rooted and built up in their faith (Col 2:7). The Christian that is worthy of Jesus is the one who has great endurance when the gales of human wisdom and vanity sweep in to uproot it (1 Cor 2:5). The Christian that pleases the Lord is the one who is patient for the inheritance and who doesn’t start to believe that it would be better to have their reward in this life, but who is willing to wait for a better one in the world to come (Heb 11:16).

This tree derives its strength from God’s might which is ‘glorious’ might. So, the glory of God’s strength is reflected in the strength of Christian perseverance and endurance; with eyes fixed on the eternal prize (Phil 3:14).

Joyful thanks

Thirdly, the Christian that is pleasing to the Lord has a canopy of lush green leaves. Jonah was overjoyed with the leafy plant that God caused to grow up over him, granting him relief from the sun. Here the Christian that pleases his God is a joyful, thanks-giving believer. They are the kind of believer that doesn’t grumble even when the weather is stormy, but in all circumstances, gives thanks (1 Thess 5:18). The kind who, whether in word or deed does everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God (Col 3:17). This Christian who is worthy of their God, is characterised by joy. And out of that persistent joy comes thanksgiving – even for the toughest things God has designed for their lives (Rom 8:28).

They are the kind who do not consider themselves worthy to receive anything good and so they overflow with gladness when their king calls them to participate with him, even in the heat of the battle (2 Cor 8:2). They count it all joy to suffer for the name of their Lord and master (Jam 1:2).

Fruit of Good works

Fourthly, the Christian who is worthy of their Lord is the Christian who displays on their branches the fruit of good works. They are the kind of Christian who recognise that the articles of gold and silver in the household, are the ones that are used for special purposes, so they cleanse themselves from the articles of clay and wood – then they become useful for any good work (2 Tim 2:20-21). They are those who devote themselves to the Word of God so that they will be useful for every good work (2 Tim 3:17). But they are also those who seek first the kingdom of God (Matt 6:33). They are those who are not lazy (Heb 6:12), but give themselves wholly to advancing the kingdom of God. They are those who consider it wise to win souls (Prov 11:30) and to go and make disciples of people from all nations (Matt 28:19).

Growing in Knowledge

And, lastly, Christians worthy of their Saviour, are those who are growing in the knowledge of God. They recognise, that to become more like their God, they must know him better and better (Eph 1:17). And they know that he is infinite and eternal in his character, so they can never reach the end of their discovery of him (Psa 106:2). They know that God’s revelation of himself is the supreme means of knowing him and so, they are always giving themselves to His book. And, they know that the heavens are declaring his glory (Psa 19:1), so they are learning to walk through this world with their eyes wide open to the declaration of God about himself. They are the kind of people who don’t grow tired of finding out more and more about their master – that their appreciation of him may be constantly growing. They are never content with what they know of Him, they are always thirsting for more.

So, that’s what the spiritually mature tree looks like.

And it’s pleasing to God and it’s worthy of God.

But, I am not that Christian.


But Paul is not mainly interested in what we are, he is intent on ever increasing degrees of transformation in our Christian lives (2 Cor 3:18) until we reach maturity and attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:13).

To that end, Paul had not stopped praying for the believers in Colossae and I think we should not stop praying the same thing for one another in our day.

May the Lord bless us and help us to strive to uphold the worth of his name by becoming the complete spiritual tree – that our lives may be to the glory of his grace.



bottom of page