Slow Down and Hear with Your Heart

January 17, 2022

“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 Thessalonians 2:13

To say that we are inundated by information is an understatement.  

(The average person processes roughly 34GB of information each day.) 

Sometimes, I treat Scripture like any other piece of information that comes across my phone or computer screen; I quickly glance over it and move on with my day. 

But Scripture isn’t merely information.  It’s “revelation.”  

Man may have written it down, but Scripture did not originate with us. 

Scripture is the very Word of God, infinitely more valuable than any other article or tidbit that we see on our screens. Every verse is ‘God-breathed’ and is like life-giving oxygen to our weary souls (2 Timothy 3:16).  

If we believe this is true, then we must make sure our hearts and brains actually receive what we read.  

What does it mean to “receive the Word?” 

To ‘receive’ the Word, or receive anything for that matter, means that we take possession of it and make it our own. Rather than merely glancing at Scripture, we seek to internalize it, allowing it to seep into the crevices of our character and sink into our souls. 

And this won’t happen when we’re in a hurry.  

Receiving’ happens when we slow down long enough to reflect on the meaning and truth of the Word we’re reading, then seek to apply it to our daily lives.  

After all, we shouldn’t read the Bible simply to ‘check it off our list’ or ‘get it over with.’ 

Scripture is meant to change us.  

As famed evangelist, DL Moody once said, “The Bible was not given for our information, but for our transformation.”   

And a real transformation is exactly what took place in Thessalonica. 

Let me explain. 

Itinerant teachers and storytellers were a dime a dozen in the ancient world. But when the Thessalonians heard Paul’s message of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, they knew it was categorically different from anything they’d heard before. They rightly recognized it as the Word of God and responded accordingly.   

And how exactly did they respond?  

Paul says the Thessalonians “accepted” it. (In Greek, “accepted” means to have heard with your heart.)

Simply put, they didn’t allow the Word of God to go in one ear and out the other. They fully embraced the Gospel, taking hold of it in their inner being. Warren Wiersbe, a pastor, and Bible commentator explains, “figuratively speaking, they put out the ‘welcome mat’ for the Word of God, inviting it into their lives.”

Consequently, the Word entered in and started to do its ‘work’ among them, transforming their lives from the inside out. They “turned from idols,” stood firm amidst suffering and persecution (1 Thessalonians 1:6-8), and became a living, breathing testimony to the supernatural power of the Word!

Perhaps we, in our digital age, can learn a thing or two from the ancient church in Thessalonica. 

Allow me to share a few suggestions of how I put out the ‘welcome mat’ for the Word of God:

Read the passage of Scripture in 2-3 different translations. ( is a wonderful resource.)

Read commentary using the Life Application Bible and 

Pray the passage over my life.  

Seek to live it out in the days ahead

Taking the time to truly receive and accept the truths found in God’s Word is time well spent!

Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH