Wednesday After the Third Sunday After Pentecost 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13
WEDNESDAY AFTER THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
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.
Life as a Christian begins with God's call. He chooses us. He must be there before we can say yes. What happens if we answer yes?
Paul depicts one of the most important lessons in this chapter. We have "to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory" (1 Thessalonians 2:12). We are chosen to live as God's children. That kind of life can't be governed simply by a few rules and regulations. We can't just stop doing some things and start doing other things. It's a question of a whole new way of life; the kind of life we lead when God is a part of everything. We live as a child before his father. We can do this, despite the fact that we're sinners, because Jesus has given us that right. We can do this, despite the fact that we have no prior information or instruction regarding how we must act or behave in all possible incidences, because we have the Word and the Spirit.
When Jesus called the disciples, He said: "Follow Me." That meant: "Come with Me now, and I will teach you all you need to know." We learn in this same way today. We don't have to know everything from the beginning. Sometimes we're almost completely ignorant. But we can learn bit by bit on one condition: that we really listen. That's what Paul is talking about when he describes what happened in Thessalonica. What happened there was just as necessary then as it is now.
There are two things that determine if Christianity is living. The first is that God's Word be preached purely and clearly as Paul here described it, not in a flattering or patronizing way, by one who has no desire to be popular or appreciated but wants only to please God and say what God wants to be said. The second is that he who listens understands that this is not the word of men, but the Word of God. This condition has to be met if the Word will "work in you believers." If you go to church to only hear what the pastor says (and then compare it to what you believe), you're impeding the Word from doing its work. When God's Word is heard, we're standing in front of Him and the right question is: Lord, what do You want of me? That's why these two things are equally important: that the spoken word is the true Word of God, and that we receive it as such.
Dear Lord, help everyone who comes with Your Word and Your message to us. Help them to see only You when they ask what Your Word is trying to tell them, and only see us to ask what the Word conveys. May we never be critical to Your Word, yet all the more critical to words that don't come from You. May we hear when You speak, and may we notice the words of men. May we never be critical simply because something doesn't agree with our own views. Let us ask, instead, if it's in conjunction with Your Word. May Your Holy Spirit lead and inform us so we really know and understand what You're saying. Amen.