1 Thessalonians 2
And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.
1 Thessalonians 2:13
Paul writes ‘…and we also thank God continually.’ Not only do we pray giving thanks, but we keep on doing so! Here it is in relation to the Word of God and specifically the response to the Word of God.
We receive the Word by hearing it read and explained and proclaimed – usually by someone else. But as we receive and hear it, we accept it not as a word from that person.
Every week we hear the Bible read and preached. But a question to ask is “how do I really receive this Word?” Do I receive it merely as a good exposition from a gifted preacher? Do I receive it as a great presentation in theology or an academic exercise? Do I receive it only to become more clever?
God, through Paul in verse 13 challenges us to consider God’s Word for what it is – His Word – and to be very thankful indeed.
If ever these Christians are going to survive suffering and persecutions from outside the church, and even from inside the church, the Word of God and its authority is the one thing that will give us real and lasting hope. If ever Christians need a work continuing in their lives, this Word of God will do it powerfully.
That, dear friends is something to be thankful for.
Here’s the thing: whenever the Bible is opened, read, discussed, preached, God by His Spirit is at work to encourage not only the reader or the preacher, but also the listener. We have the very words of God at our disposal any time and always.
The challenge for each and every one of us is whether this Word of God “is indeed at work in those who believe.” Is it? Can you categorically state that you are sitting under the authority of God’s word? Or are you sitting in authority over it? Are you a reader and listener only? Or, are you striving as you should to be a doer also?
Here are two suggestions for prayer points in response to 1 Thessalonians 2:
Point 1 – thank God for His word verse 13a
Point 2 – ask God to help you to accept this word and allow it to work in your heart and life.