Receive the Word

Posted: October 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

Do you Welcome the Word?

 

And we also thank God constantlyfor 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  Thessalonians 2:13

How will you respond—or react–to hearing the Word of God preached during any of our services of Oak Grove?  Specifically, I am thinking of how will we respond to God’s Word that we heard during our “For His Glory” services.

James 1:21b-25  gives us strong instruction on beign a “doer” of the Word and not just a “hearer”:

“….receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

There are several approaches we all take depending on the message and on our spiritual condition at the time we hear the Word preached.  Here are some examples:

Preach to ‘em brother!  This is when we assume the message is for someone else.  And sometimes—for example, when we a Christian hears an evangelistic message—this could be the case.  However, instead of observing the process with relief, we could listen to learn how we might be more effective in communicating those truths to others ourselves.  Or we may know of someone who needs this word from God.  We can humbly pray that God will bless their hearing of it.  Generally however, this is not the case.  There is something in most messages that we could all use.  We should listen for it.

Fear and Resentment.  This took place in the book of Acts when Stephen was martyred.  As he died, he exclaimed how that he saw Jesus.  “Then they screamed at the top of their voices, stopped their ears, and rushed together against him. (Acts 7:57).  Stephen had warned them earlier, “You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit” (Acts 7:51).  This is a most extreme example.  However, there are milder, more typical forms of this.

Sometimes, when the Bible is preached, some stop attending the services rather than face the message and respond.  Sometimes we take issue with parts of the message while approving of other parts.  (This is not to say discernment is not needed, and that one thing a preacher says may be true while another statement is false, but we speak here of attitudes in the face of sermons faithful to the Word of God.)  Sometimes, we divert attention from the message by critiquing the style of the messenger.  All of these forms, however, keep us out from under the Word and slyly puts us over the Word.  And we do this, because we fear the Word and the adjustments it might bring into our lives if we submit to its authority.

We can receive the WordWe can welcome the Word into our hearts like a guest into our homes. The truth is our friend.  God will not hurt us with the truth; He will help us.  All of God’s plans for us are good plans (according to His plan). We can be like the people in the town of Berea.  When Paul and Silas brought the Gospel to that town, the Bible tells us, “The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”

My prayer is that Psalm 19:14 would be true for us:

” May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart  be acceptable to You, LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” 

Give us  ears so that we can hear God what you will say to us through the preached Word. I pray we won’t have hard hearts but that the Spirit will work in our hearts so that we will have the strength to obey. Amen

Nehemiah.jpg

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