Embrace the Word.

In extreme circumstances, our needs become very clear. When you are tired, hungry, and poor, what do you need more than sleep, money, and food? The Word of God is more necessary than any physical need. It is sufficient at all times (2 Peter 1:3). A desire for God's Word nourishes the spirit.

The church at Thessalonica became a model for its contemporary churches and all future bodies of believers. They were poor, but gave generously to others' needs despite being severely persecuted. They highly valued the Word of God. They planted multiple churches just in the first 18 months of the church's existence. We can expect the same spiritual success to be normal in our churches if we live by God's Word and allow Him to work through us.

Three words describe the Thessalonian disposition toward the Word of God. Analyze yourself as we look more closely at 1 Thessalonians 2:13. Do you have the same mindset?


The Word of God makes a distinct and eternal impression beyond the most influential teacher's reach. It is the divine source of change. Its work in our lives should always make us thankful.

Many of the Thessalonians had lost everything because they had embraced Christ. Paul came to the Thessalonians just after being beaten and imprisoned for preaching the Gospel. The first thing he did in the next city was to preach the Word. As the Thessalonians received God's Word and it worked in their hearts, they shared joy and thanksgiving with Paul and the men who brought the Word to them.

The Word of God is equally powerful whether it is spoken or read. The Thessalonians had a global influence without even having the written Bible in their homes! They heard the Word and accepted it because it was delivered by people whose lives demonstrated its transforming power (see 1 Thessalonians 1:4-6 and Acts 17:1-9). They objectively received God's Word with respect and attention, then fully embraced it in their hearts.


The Thessalonians embraced God's Word because they rightly discerned its origin. These were not human words, but divine. It has omnipotent power because its author is God. It is the only thing that can change you from a life of pursuing sin to a life of growing Christ-likeness. We are able to grow in affection for God's Word because we remember its transforming power in our lives at salvation and every day as we continue to read it.


Nehemiah 8:1-12 tells of an amazing response to God's Word. The Israelites were able to gather to hear God's Word publically for the first time in 70 years. They heard it read and explained then applied. They responded in worship, repentance, and finally joy.

It was very evident that the Word was at work in the Thessalonians' lives. As they continued to gather to hear the Word, their lives showed whether they embraced it.

Application Points

  • Where do you turn in extreme circumstances? Do you seek to meet physical needs or first run to God and His Word?
  • Do you embrace God's Word? Do you struggle to do what it says? You cannot embrace the Word if you haven't embraced Christ. People who are born again and discipled not only hear, but embrace the Word of God; and this is seen in how they live their lives every day. Have you been born again?
  • Do you share God's Word with others? Does your life back up its message? Have you been personally transformed?
  • When is the last time the Word of God worked in your life as it did in the Thessalonians?

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Psalm 119:148, 14, 19:10, Job 23:12 – Treasuring God's Word.
  • 2 Peter 3:18, Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:22-24 – God's Word causes spiritual growth and renews our spirits.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17, James 1:21-25 – The omnipotence of God's Word.
  • Isaiah 55:11, Psalm 19:7 – God's Word always has its intended effect.
A Hymn to Encourage: "As We Read Your Holy Word"

As we read Your Holy Word, help us see, Lord, help us learn.
Holy Spirit, from its pages lead the way.
Come and melt our stubborn will; make our hearts and souls be still.
As we read Your Word, may we heed it and obey.

Like the first rays of morning light, it will pierce my darkest night:
Showing sins of doubt and fear within my heart,
Showing self-confidence and pride, the rebel thoughts that plague my mind.
Then it brings cleansing hope that quiets my heart.

As we read Your Holy Word, help us see, Lord, help us learn.
Holy Spirit, from its pages lead the way.
Come and melt our stubborn will; make our hearts and souls be still.
As we read Your Word, may we heed it and obey.

Open my eyes and let me see glimpses of truth you have for me,
For in Your Word I find the truth that sets me free.

Quotes to Ponder

"The Word is operative and productive, continually producing an effect in the lives of those who have embraced it."

— D. Edmond Hiebert