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God is quite clear about what He considers true religion.
James 1:26-27
Stand firm in your faith in hard times, encouraging one another.
1 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Those in Christ are encouraged to talk to God about anything and everything, anytime. That's how to get peace in stressful times.
Philippians 4:6-7
"Come here! Stop working so hard. Take a break. Let Me refresh you. Hook up with Me. Learn how I work. Let Me do the heavy lifting."
Matthew 11:28-30
Evangelizing is vital, but don't forget to disciple!
1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:5
God knew His lost little lambs would need a special Shepherd. He sent His Son to guide and provide.
Psalm 23
If God has entrusted you with the Truth of His Gospel, then speak it boldly and live like you are His.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
As we await Jesus' return, we must work to serve God by serving others, sharing the Truth with confidence.
Serve God as You Wait for Jesus
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight..Jeremiah 15:16 NIV
Psalms 1:1-3
Only our best will do for God....and those we minister to.
Titus 3:12-15
Those whose faith, no matter how small, is in God will find their faith tested so it can grow.
James 1:2-8
God cleans us up, gives us a new beginning, and sees us in our "Sunday best."
Titus 3:1-8
2 Chronicles 16:8-9
James 3:13-18
Romans 11:28-32
2 Timothy 3:14-17
2 Corinthians 8:1-2
Lamentations 3:31-33
2 Peter 1:3-4
Romans 2:12-16
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Accepting the Word for What It Is
1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
The two greatest commandments, Love God and Love Your Neighbor; yet the world despises God and opposes men.
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Published July 2nd, 2016; Updated July 2nd, 2016
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How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? (Romans 10:14 ESV We cannot realize or appreciate our need for a Savior if we don't recognize ourselves as sinners incapable of saving ourselves. So how do we come to that realization? How do we push past our denial, resist the pull of the world's attractions, refuse the devil's temptations? Someone who has been approved by God and entrusted with His Word must speak it to us. Then the responsibility falls on us to 1. hear the Word 2. receive what we hear 3. accept it as Truth 4. and then accept it as the Word of God ...because only God's Word has the power to save. Yet, receiving, accepting and believing the Word can, and probably will, bring opposition. People don't know what they don't know, and they won't necessarily want to hear what you have to say. They will attack the messenger to avoid dealing with the message! Human nature exerts a persistent and sometimes very strong force away from God. Only God's Holy Spirit can draw us to Him. WORSHIP Jeremiah 15:16 - " Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by Your name, O LORD, God of hosts" Praise God that I live in a space and time where I can freely hear and receive Your Word, accepting it as Your eternal, inspired Truth.Thank You for the messengers that You have approved and emboldened to preach Your message.I want to join their ranks, sharing You and Your goodness and Your faithfulness with those most in need of hearing and receiving. Thank You for Your written Word---and the Living Word, Your Son, whom You sent to save the world from itself. Father, Your Word is indeed my how You reveal Yourself, and how You encourage, comfort, teach and correct. I feast on every Word. You are my joy, my Father, my Husband, my Provider. You sustain me, protect me, provide for me. You are always with me, in every situation. When I stumble, You are right there to pick me up. I love how faithful and trustworthy You are. I don't always understand everything You're about, but that's OK. I'm satisfied knowing that You are in charge.Your Word guides me, and I hunger to taste more of You.But don't let it stop there. As you share with me, put doubters and unbelievers in my path so I can share the truth of Who You are with them, trusting the Holy Spirit to complete the work. Amen. WORK 2 Timothy 2:15 tells me: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." So, I heard the Word, received it and accepted it as God's Word. I continue to read the Word daily, and I spend a great deal of time at to learn more about my Father, and how I can live to please Him. That's good, but it's not enough. If I have been approved by God and entrusted with His Word, I must likewise speak it to those who do not know Him, those who do not know they need a savior, those who don't know they can't save themselves, those who succumb to satan's lies, those who are lured by the world's attractions. Whether they hear, receive and accept is not on me. Speaking God's Truth is! Q1. How can I creatively share the Truth that I know so that it can be heard by those who desperately need it? Q2. Knowing that sharing the Word won't make me popular, how can I be more intentional in bringing the message?
1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
Receiving & Accepting God's Word
And we also thank God constantly
God's Work at Work in the Faithful
for this,
that when you received the word
of God,
which you heard
from us,
not as the word of men but
you accepted it ... as what it really is,
the word of God,
which is at work
in you believers.
Believing God's Word Invites Opposition
The World at Work with the Faithful
For {gar} you, brothers, became imitators
of the churches
of God
in Christ Jesus
that are
in Judea.
God's Wrath Comes At Last
God at Work with the World
For {hoti - because} you suffered the same things
from your own countrymen
as they did
from the Jews,
who killed
both the Lord Jesus
and the prophets,
and drove us out,
and displease God
and oppose all mankind
by hindering us
from speaking
to the Gentiles
that they might be saved—
so as always to fill up the measure
of their sins.
But wrath has come upon them at last!
The Thessalonians heard the Word from Paul but did not accept it as Paul's word or a human message. They knew it was God's Word.
They heard the Word, received it and accepted it and then were persecuted by their own countrymen who didn't want them saved.
Paul constantly thanks God for the church at Thessalonica, not because they heard His preaching or accepted what He taught, but because they had the insight, discernment and wisdom to recognize it as the unadulterated word of God--something worth living for, suffering for, even dying for.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.