Monday, December 28, 2009

Faith Makes It Work

" 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." (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

Reading the Word of God, or hearing it preached or taught, brings an awesome responsibility. It may not be heeded, but it will have to be reckoned with. How we hear is just as important as what we hear.

As I see it, the verse above presents both an absolute and conditional promise. Paul promised those who were wise enough to receive the Word of God he preached for what it actually was, the very Word of God, that they could be absolutely sure they were right. There are those who may consider the Bible to be only the writings of men; but that doesn't change the fact that it is not. It is what it is. The only thing their doubts change is the outcome of its effectiveness in their own lives. This is the conditional promise. Unless one is willing to accept it for what it is—God's Word to him or her personally—it is powerless to open to them the Way of Life.

And unless we, as children of God, come the Bible with the thought that God is bringing to us personally a message of hope, instruction, or rebuke, we should not expect it to work at full capacity in our lives. Remember, it only works "effectually," the verse says, "in [those] who believe." Just as "faith if it have not works, is dead" (James 2:17), practically speaking, the Word of God without faith is just as dead, as least as far as its efficacy in our own lives is concerned.

The Bible: Divine authorship makes it true; but faith makes it work. It's the Word of the Living God to you. Appreciate it...appropriate it...then apply it.

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