By Robert Halsey Pine
“We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers.” (1 Thessalonians 2:9-13, 17-20 NRSV).
We must be careful not to take the Word of God and use it as if we originated it. Even old “Pious Bob” has to take care to give God the credit for all inspiration given. We are but conduits for the love and Word of God. If we appear to understand the mystery of God it is just that, appearance. This is not to put down those who are seeking the Lord and sharing His love and Word. After all, that is what we are called to do. But we must understand that the Word and the power are from Him, not us.
St. Paul understood this and joyfully sacrificed himself to be God’s conduit. Paul felt such closeness to the Lord that he would have rather been with Him in the kingdom. But he knew that his brothers and sisters on Earth needed him and God needed him to spread the good news in Christ Jesus. Do you feel like a conduit for God? If God is not sending you opportunities to share His love and Word with others, then you haven’t surrendered yourself to Him. When you surrender to Him the opportunities will come.
The next step is to listen to God. If He is telling you to act in a situation and you do nothing, you lack boldness. Of course, He doesn’t intend for you to judge others and make them mad, but He does expect you to have faith in His instruction and carry out His will with your brothers and sisters. We all need this intervention from each other for the Lord. Why do you think the Lord encourages even two or three to gather in His name? He promises to be in the midst of us when we do come together in Him.
Father God, I pray You help me follow the example of St. Paul and take the “me” out of my actions for You. Help me understand that I don’t have to get the credit in order to be blessed by Your use of me. Father, open my ears to Your direction and give me the strength and courage to persevere for You among Your children. Help me to love others as You love me. AMEN.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.