Is it Making a Difference? – I Thessalonians 2:13

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Historically, I’ve had a weak immune system and frequent illness. In recent years, we’ve been regularly taking a range of specific supplements. Over the Christmas holidays, all of our immediate family, including grandchildren, were quite sick. We still saw them for Christmas and church and even babysat. Then we had good friends from out of state stay with us for a week. One of them becoming quite sick. Through it all, my wife and I escaped the “bugs” they had. We were careful, not only to take the vitamins, but to do so with food. For vitamins to work properly, you must have food in your stomach so the supplements can absorb into your system.

As we read Paul’s letter to the saints at Thessalonica, he tells them: “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…as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (I Thessalonians 2:13). Paul was writing to believers who had allowed the Scriptures to make a real difference in their lives. They allowed God’s Word to convict their hearts and empower their walk. That’s why they “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1:9) and urgently “sounded out the word of the Lord” reaching many with the gospel (1:8). That’s why, with expectation, they were waiting for the Rapture (1:10) and why they abounded toward each other in love (4:9-10).

God’s Word is intended to make a difference in the way we live every time we read it! If we read it like the noble Bereans in Acts 17:11, we will absorb it “with all readiness of mind.” That means we will allow it to encourage, convict, instruct in paths of righteousness, and break old patterns that do not exalt our Savior. But just as vitamins need food to do their proper work, the Scriptures need a yielded heart and a mind that is looking for the right things. Is God’s Word “effectually working in you”? Or, is Bible study only an academic exercise? As you listen to or study the Scripture, embrace the deep doctrines. But don’t forget to look for things to transform the way you live. When the Holy Spirit convicts about a needed change, allow God’s Word to “effectually worketh also in you” by applying truth to yourself with a yielded heart.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."