The Word Which Is At Work In You
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. (1 Thes 2:13)
That 2,000-year-old sentence from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians is worth thinking deeply about today.
People need to hear the word of God. We all need the God-breathed Scriptures that are profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” People need the word of God.
…which you heard from us…
We need to share what we’ve heard. The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. In it, the righteousness of God is revealed, faith is kindled, and we are taught to live as redeemed, complete, thoroughly equipped disciples. Preachers and teachers, let’s maximize our open doors. Preach the word. Teach the word. Don’t squander those sacred opportunities. Relentlessly mine the inexhaustible depths of God’s revelation and eagerly share what you’re discovering. People need the living and active word of God.
…you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is…
The word of God needs to be recognized for what it really is. His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his ways higher than our ways and his thoughts than our thoughts. His word is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, discerning the thoughts and intentions of human hearts. It will accomplish its God-defined purpose. Its teachings, reproofs, corrections, and disciplines need to be accepted, not as the words of men, but for what they really are. The word of God.
…which is at work in you believers.
When the seeds of God’s word fall into good and honest hearts, they go to work within the believer. Idols are exposed. Righteousness is taught. Self-control is practiced. Love is learned. Accountability is reinforced. Faith is stretched. Patience grows. Hope is stabilized and made steadfast. The Lord is imitated. Pruning is endured. Fruit is borne. Joy is nurtured and sustained. The light shines. The good news sounds forth. Jesus is anticipated. The word of God is working on, transforming, renewing, and fueling the heart of believers.
…thank God constantly for this…
The very One who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” continues to provide the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ through this matchless treasure that is freely available to all. The surpassing, life-giving, eternity-shaping power belongs to him. We’re invited–each one of us–by grace, to come and see.
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.