Specific Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
Advice is a weird thing. Everybody needs it, but nobody wants it. We don't like being told what to do, and when people tell us, our natural reaction is to disdain the person who had the gumption to make a suggestion. Who are they to tell me what to do, we think, as we begin to catalog that person's own faults.
Many people have this attitude about Christianity. They wonder what the point is of showing up once a week, or reading a book, to receive advice from people who don't seem much different than they are. It becomes especially difficult when the advice givers have a high and mighty opinion about themselves.
But that's not at all what Christianity is about. You're not called in on Sunday's to hear about what the preacher thinks about this subject or that. You're not instructed to read the Bible each day because it's a curated collection of good ideas that are thousands of years old.
As you read 1 Thess. 2, you are told exactly what makes Biblical Christianity so different than anything else:
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 Th 2:13
When you come into God's sanctuary on Sundays, when you read the Bible, God is speaking. These are not just empty words that rattle around and are soon forgotten, rather they are at work in you. Something is happening: you are being transformed into a person who looks and acts like Jesus. True, you probably won't remember every word you hear or read, but even if you forget them all, the work is still being done. This is also the reason we keep coming back to church, and keep reading God's Word each day, because we continually need to be reminded.
Prayer for the Day - Dear Father in heaven, I might not always be able to see the changes you are making in me, and I usually forget much more than I remember, but thank you for using your Words to make me into your image. Help me to discipline myself to stay rooted in your word as it is written and proclaimed. Amen.