[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]I was recently reading some verses in the book of 1 Thessalonians, and I was reminded again of how committed Paul was to his ministry assignments, and to those he was called to minister to. And there are some things in the verses below that really got my attention.[/x_custom_headline]
[x_blockquote cite=”1 Thessalonians 2:8-12 KJV” type=”left”]“8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. 9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: 11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”[/x_blockquote]
As I stated, Paul was totally committed! He didn’t just preach a sermon and leave it with that. He loved these people, and worked day and night to minister the truth of God’s Word, in order to mature these saints in Christ.
And just as any good father would raise his children to live right and do right, Paul did the same. He was teaching these believers that living an effective life requires that they walk worthy of the Lord. And walking worthy of the Lord requires us to walk in line with God’s Word, and to live a holy life.
[x_blockquote cite=”1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV” type=”left”]“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”[/x_blockquote]
Paul now moves on to what made both him and the Thessalonians’ life and ministry so effective, which was that they “received” the Word of God.
He states that he is grateful to the Lord that when he came preaching the gospel to the Thessalonians (see 1 Thessalonians 1:5), that they received it for what it is, the Word of God and not simply the statements of men.
Something that every believer must understand is that as long as you treat the preaching and teaching of the Word of God as though it were the words of men, it is unlikely that you will ever truly “receive” it. And there is a vast difference between “hearing” the Word, and “receiving” the Word. Because until you receive it, absolutely nothing in your life will change.
If you refuse to receive the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, but instead reject it by choosing to believe that it is the opinions of men, you are negating its authority, and nullifying it effectiveness in your life.
[x_blockquote cite=”Isaiah 53:1 KJV” type=”left”]“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”[/x_blockquote]
Some commentators believe that this verse is what Paul was thinking about in reference to 1 Thessalonians 2:13. In this verse, Isaiah is telling us exactly how to get the arm of the Lord working on your behalf to bring about deliverance from all of your enemies. The arm of the Lord is revealed when we believe the report or Word of the Lord. It’s just that simple!
The Word of God goes into effect in the lives of people when they believe the Word that is preached. So then believing the Word is the proof that you have received the Word. Because anyone can listen to a sermon. But that certainly doesn’t mean they are committed to receive it, believe it and act upon it.
[highlight]It is our believing the Word that is preached that sets it into motion in our lives.[/highlight]
Notice also that Paul states that the Word of God you receive works “effectually” in the lives of those who believe it. The word effectually means: to display one’s activity; to put forth power; to be at work; to produce an effect.
Many Christians are frustrated because it seems as though the Word of God they are hearing isn’t producing any results, or having any effect in their lives. However, it is entirely possible that the reason this is true, is because they do not receive the Word they are hearing preached, and they do not believe it.
Because the proof that you truly believe the Word of God is that you will act on it!
So then how do we know whether or not someone has received and believed the Word that is preached? Well, the clear evidence of this is that it will produce results and bring about change in that individual’s life.