EHP Day 51-Receiving the Word Well
1 Thessalonians 2:13
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.
With every passing year, with each month and week, indeed with each unfolding day, more comes “at us.” Messages of every kinds: radio, television, yard signs, lectures and speeches, “breaking news,” sales promotions, social media, podcasts, tweets, emails, new apps which deliver messages and images, advertisements, billboards, direct mail appeals, robo-phone calls. What have I missed? The tsunami is as relentless as anything we experience in living.
The challenge is two-fold. On the one hand, the important task of selectivity. I will choose to take in what, and why? What will I read? I will watch what? What will I listen to? Dwell on (i.e., entertain more than once)? One who desires to be open-minded should nonetheless exercise care. An open mind can simply become a collection of garbage, not unlike an open sewer. Few would want the precious resource of their minds to filled with pollution.
The second challenge is responsiveness. That is, what will I do with what I take in? This largely depends on sorting out, from what one has encountered, what is truthful and what is not to be trusted. What to believe and what to reject. What information merits internalization and action.
When reading Paul’s letters to Thessalonia (new believers living in the upper region of what we today call Greece), one senses his love for these fresh disciples. They responded to “the Word.” Given grace to recognize that what they were hearing from Paul and his ministry companions was not just another “also ran” message from human speculation. Rather, they were hearing the Word of God through men. And, it was at work in them, changing them day by day. Such is the power of God’s living revelation when it is recognized, received, and given its opportunity in us.