Thursday, March 12, 2015

Let the Word be Received

Photo "Heart of Book" Courtesy of anat_tikker/freedigitalphotos.net
And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, 
you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, 
which is indeed at work in you who believe.  
1 Thessalonians 2:13 NIV

As I sat in church last Sunday and listened to a message on what a transformed Christ follower looks like, my mind jumped to an image quite foreign to me.  I saw in my mind, as I pondered this particular portion of scripture, a mother reading the Bible to her child who laid in a nursing home bed, immobile, and unresponsive.

Now, I, personally, do not have a child who is unable to converse with me.  I do not have a child who is confined to a bed.  I have a child who talks (a bit too much, on some days) and who responds, and who can communicate with me on a variety of subjects.  So, I really am not a likely candidate to be writing about this topic.

But, the Holy Spirit gave me this image regarding this verse.
Why?
Because God loves these people too, and wants His Gospel to reach them as well.  We cannot assume that, just because they don't show us a response, that they don't love God and that they don't understand His message.  

I felt God urging me to write and say, "Read God's Word to those who cannot respond, and let God do the rest."  
We are merely vessels, after all.  
What makes us think we are the magic behind someone's conversion to being a Christ follower?  We bring God's Word to people and God will be the one to chase after them.

How much simpler could a witnessing job be than to read to another human being?  As I found in the article "The Power of the Word of God", (accessed 3/11/15)
The Words that are in the Bible are pure, solid, spiritual food that have the supernatural ability to feed your mind, soul, and spirit.
We're talking about no debating, no persuading, no defending...just reading from the Bible will feed you and whomever it is you are also reading to.

Now, in the season of Lent, is the perfect time to start reading the Gospel to those who have not heard it before.  Now, as we approach the time of the triumphant resurrection of our Lord, is the perfect time to pray out loud with and for the person to whom we read the Gospel. 

Pray:  Father God, thank you for giving us the Bible, such a powerful collection of words, breathed out by you for us.  Thank you for making our job so easy that we can use your power to lead others to you...that it's all your power which brings new followers.  Your love for us feeds our souls and nourishes our spirits.  Help me to reach out to those  about whom others may say, "What difference does it make?  They won't understand what I'm reading to them."  Father, you love them with a love beyond measure, and only YOU can touch their hearts.  I ask you today to use me to share your love letter to them with them.  Amen.

~Tammie Hefty

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