God’s Word in Our Hearts

The Power of the Written Words of God

1 Thessalonians 2:13

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

1 August, 2010   AM

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction ()


A.     Beginning a new series for the month of August – God’s Open Revelation

B.     Looking at the Book you hold in your hands. I hope to give you a new and fresh appreciation for an eternal Revelation, from God about God

C.     We are going to study and learn:


1.      God’s Word in Our Hearts

2.      God’s Word in Our Hands

3.      God’s Word in Our Homes

4.      God’s Word to the World


D.     Sounds simple, but it is THE most attacked truth today (2Cor 2;17)


1.      The Bible is the foundation of what we believe, and it is the basis for everything we do – if it is not in the Bible, then we don’t do it!

2.      If the foundation is tampered with, then we are lost (Psalm 11:3)

3.      But if the foundation is rock solid, then we can build, and strive, and risk everything, all because this Book, THAT Book you hold in your hands is absolutely, and completely true from start to finish (Ps 119:16)


E.      Let’s look into Bible, and Start to get it MORE and more into our Hearts


II.    Message – God’s Word in Our Hearts (1Thes 2:13)


A.     The Preaching of the Word of God (1Thes 2:13)


1.      Paul, Silas and Timothy arrived in a small city called Thessalonica about 51 AD


a.       It is less than 20 years after the crucifixion of our Lord

b.      Thessalonica was an awful, pagan, heathen society – we forget how dark and wicked the world was before Jesus Christ came and the Gospel broke that darkness

c.       In Thessalonica, as in all the Greek cities, sexual promiscuity was common


1)      Every home was filled with dark idols to sex, as well as marriages and relationships that were built upon whatever felt good!

2)      To live a life of purity, and monogamy was regarded as a freak.

3)      There was great pressure for everyone to just to fall into line with the common sex practices of their day.

4)      The entertainment was sexually dark

5)      Children were constantly at risk of abuse

6)      THAT was the kind of world that the Gospel went out into!


2.      They Had the Word of God in their hands (2Tim 3:15)


a.       Didn’t talk about philosophies, dreams, theories, and cunningly devised fables

b.      They held up something unusual – a BOOK!


1)      Held it in their hands

2)      Pointed to it

3)      They called it the WORD of GOD to all men and women everywhere!

4)      Asked people to examine it, and see if it was true (Philp 2:16)

5)      Preached it

6)      And they Commanded the people to follow it


3.      They Preached it! It was delivered in the only way Jesus said it should! By Preaching!


a.       This is where it starts


1)      God doesn’t spend chapters of the Bible trying to prove He exists

2)      He just starts off declaring that He is there, and that He did this and He did that!

3)      He just expects people to hear His word PREACHED first!


b.      Jesus commanded that the word of God


1)      Be PREACHED (Mark 16:15)

2)      Be TAUGHT (Matthew 5:2, 7:29; Acts 14:21)


c.       They didn’t spend all their time proving it… they just preached it and showed how powerful it was


1)      It would be like trying to point to a stick of dynamite and through analysis, and examination, and testing, and experimentation trying to determine if it was powerful or not

2)      When what you do is you light it, and throw it, and then watch it work!

3)      That’s what preaching is!


d.      They used the Old Testament


1)      They didn’t have Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, Romans yet

2)      Those New Testament Books were coming, they were being written by eye-witnesses, by people who had seen known and handled Jesus Christ


e.       Paul, Silas and Timothy explained the Gospel from out of the Old Testament – it was nothing new, but was throughout the pages of the Law and the Prophets!


1)      The first Lamb in the Garden of Eden

2)      The promised Lamb in the place of Isaac

3)      The Brazen Serpent on a Pole in Numbers 21

4)      The cloud by day and the fire by night

5)      The fourth man in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Dan 3

6)      The wheel in the middle of the wheel in Ezekiel 1

7)      The suffering Servant of Isaiah 52 and 53

8)      The Mighty God of Isaiah 9


f.       They ALWAYS included the Crucifixion – the centrepiece of history!


4.      They Expected Results


a.       Believed in God’s way of doing things


1)      Not just helping people, feeding, clothing them

2)      Not just giving medical supplies

3)      Not just discussing things, debating things

4)      But using the foolishness of preaching (1Cor 1:17,18,21) And not polished preaching, just powerful preaching (2:4)!

5)      They patiently spoke the words of God, and ploughed them into the hearts of the hearers, and then waited for a harvest!

6)      They expected God to mightily bless like He promised!


b.      They expected people would get saved – we need to believe this more and more!


1)      Sometimes MANY got born again (Acts 2:40,41)

2)      Sometimes only a few (Acts 17:32-24)

3)      But someone will always get saved when we do things God’s way!


c.       They expected Christians would adjust their lives to get in line with the Bible (1Thes 2:11,12)

d.      If you use the right tools, you can count on things getting fixed!


B.     The Power of the Words of God (1Thes 2:13) – it Works!


1.      God designed the written words on the paper in your hand to do some incredible work!


a.       Isaiah 55:8-11

b.      Genesis 1:3 – Believe me, when God spoke, things happened!

c.       Matthew 8:26,27 – even calming storms

d.      These words are the written form of the spoken words from the very mouth of God (Mt 4:4)


2.      What Does God’s Word Do?


a.       It CUTS first (Hebrews 4:12; Acts 7:51-55)


1)      It has to hurt first

2)      It has to go “under the skin” and get to the heart, and stab at the lies and deception that are there

3)      Don’t defend the Bible’s work – any more than you would try and stop a surgeon from removing gangrene from your leg! LET IT CUT!


b.      It CONVICTS (Romans 3:19) – makes us feel guilty knowing that we ARE guilty before God! People hate this Book because it “tells on them” – tattles, and exposes their sins, and proves that they are sinful, and guilty before God! But it HAS to convict before it can ever convert a soul!

c.       It CONVERTS – changes us from stubborn, rebels, into followers of Jesus Christ (1Peter 1:23). If we Let it do its perfect work in our hearts; if we stop resisting the truths and start accepting God’s way, and God’s Son, and God’s will!

d.      It CASTS OUT all the Darkness, Lies, Demons, and Bondage that is in people (Luke 4:36)

e.       It CLEANSES (John 15:3; Psalm 119:9) – cleans, washes, rinses, and dries our thoughts, our habits, all the stains left over from past sins!

f.       It COMFORTS (1Peter 2:1-3), like a newborn baby with its mother! Some of us are not ashamed to declare that we find comfort in just sitting down and reading the Bible for an HOUR! It comforts our hearts, it calms our worries, and it carries us through the dark hours! You need the Comfort that this Book offers!

g.       It CONVINCES – gives us a confident faith in God (Romans 10:17)

h.      It CONFORMS (2Cor 3:18) – It moulds our lives into a whole new life – it changes us from OUR glory (not much here), to HIS glory as we look into and read and study this Book! The more you are in this Book, the more you become like its Author – the more you think like Him, and react like Him, and love like Him!


3.      I am here to tell you it does all this for me and my family, it can do it for YOU!

4.      How can it do all this? Because it is the TRUTH, and it is GOD’S word, not man’s!


C.     The Pursuit of the Word of God (Psalm 119:18)


1.      Now we get down to the nitty-gritty. This is the challenge; to PURSUE the truth, to search for it, and find it, and live and die by it!

2.      None of the above happens by accident. You have to WANT it to start to work in you and on you!

3.      How does a dumb, ignorant, pagan Gentile learn this Book, this Bible?


a.       Hear it


1)      Hear it out - Give God a chance

2)      Read it with a listening ear

3)      Start in Matthew

4)      Don’t try and understand it all at first – just let the truth get into your brain

5)      Just let God talk, and you listen for a while!


b.      Heed it


1)      Start obeying what God says to do


a)      John 3:3 “ye must be born again”

b)      Acts 16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”

c)      Matthew 9:9 “Follow me” – do and live like Jesus did

d)      Crucify your anger

e)      Love your enemy, bless that person who has used you and hurt you

f)       Pray about everything

g)      Praise God and thank God for everything

h)      Honour your parents

i)        Assemble together as a church every time its doors are open – every time!


2)      Then, STAY doing what the Bible says to do (John 8:31)


c.       Study it (2 Tim 2:15) – don’t let ME be the only person who studies this Book


1)      Take time to search out the answers to the questions that will arise from your reading

2)      Pay attention to the preaching and teaching in Church Meetings – your pastor has studied some awesome truths for you to take home with you and chew on

3)      When you are not here on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights, it is YOUR loss

4)      This Book was meant to be studied and learned, and nearly mastered!

5)      Don’t let confusion, and misconceptions stop you from learning this Book of books. Most people STUMBLE at what they read here, but the Bible believer, studies it out and finds that the mind of God is so brilliant!

6)      So, get back to taking notes, and get back to thinking through what we learn


d.      Store it away (Ps 119:11) – Memorize it


1)      Let it become the things you think about

2)      Let it go deep into your heart so that it can take root, and then sprout, and produce much fruit in your life!

3)      Work at memorizing the Scriptures again - notecards


e.       Savour it (Psalm 119:97,99) – Meditate on it


1)      No one in here knows anything of God if they do not ponder what they read in this Book. You may know facts, and places, but “I” want to know the Author

2)      The Bible is not just facts and information…

3)      But truths, and eternal principles that work across time, and across cultures

4)      Illustration:


a)      No one should EVER cook a thick steak, and then gobble it down in 5 seconds flat! What a waste! Go eat a McDonalds!

b)      A steak is meant to be cooked perfectly, and then eaten slowly, savouring every drop of juice and flavour!

c)      That’s how I love to read and apply this Book!


f.       Cling to it, Lean upon it, hold it closer and closer every year that you grow!


1)      Modern Christianity is full of knowledge, but empty of consistency

2)      People know a lot, but do not live by any of it

3)      They act fine, and confident, until troubles come, and then they throw it all to the wind

4)      A Bible believer clings to what this Book says


a)      Its commands are non-negotiable

b)      Its promises are irrevocable!

c)      Its comforts are incomparable!


5)      The Bible will be no good to you if it is not clung to when needed most!


III. Conclusion


A.     We are beginning a new series for the month of August – God’s Open Revelation

B.     We are looking at the Book you hold in your hands – not some lost, mysterious code that has yet to be unravelled!

C.     I hope to give you a new and fresh appreciation for the Bible

D.     We started with The Preaching of the Word of God


1.      Paul, Silas and Timothy arrived in a small city called Thessalonica about 51 AD

2.      They Had the very words of Almighty God in their hands (2Tim 3:15)

3.      And They Preached it! From Genesis to Malachi!

4.      They Expected Results – because there will always be results! If you use the right tools, you can count on things getting fixed!


E.      We then looked at The Power of the Words of God (1Thes 2:13) – What Does God’s Word Do?


1.      It CUTS first

2.      It CONVICTS

3.      It CONVERTS

4.      It CASTS OUT

5.      It CLEANSES

6.      It COMFORTS

7.      It CONVINCES

8.      It CONFORMS – changes us for the better! To be like Jesus!


F.      The Pursuit of the Word of God - How does a dumb, ignorant, Gentile learn this Book, this Bible?


1.      Hear it

2.      Heed it – obey it, and stay obeying it!

3.      Study it

4.      Store it away (Ps 119:11) – Memorize it

5.      Savour it (Psalm 119:97,99) – Meditate on it

6.      Cling to it, Lean upon it, hold it closer and closer every year that you grow!


G.     Today, I want to challenge you that are sceptics to believe God – not me! Begin to read this Bible, starting in Matthew, and read 2 chapters a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, and look to Jesus and see if He will not change your life and save your soul!

H.     And, I want to challenge every Christian in this church, to read 10 chapters a day through all of August!!! Let’s see how much we all change for the better!

I.        Let’s all fall in love once again with this Book of Books that tells us about Jesus, and about heaven, and about ourselves, and about life that is meant to be lived and not lost!