Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God – which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13
Have you ever noticed that two people can do the same thing and walk away with very different impressions?
My wife and I have led several teams to Haiti. If you’ve never experienced driving in a third world country I’d recommend it. We ministered a few years in a row in the same city that was a thirteen hour bus drive from Port Au Prince. You quickly get off the paved roads and into the incredibly diverse terrain of Haiti. Dirt roads, tent cities, lightly wooded areas, mountains, valleys, rivers, trading posts… so much more. I was amazed to see the main highways leading us to places that would never be considered a road in America. While any thirteen hour trip is tiring, it was an adventure that I greatly enjoyed.
There were others on that trip as well. Not everyone enjoyed the adventure as much as I did. If you were to ask how their experience was you’d hear remarks about how bumpy, dusty, and smelly it was. There were individuals that moved to a new level of intercession, truly believing their lives were in jeopardy. They spent the entire trip dreading the return drive.
Point being you can have two individuals in the same scenario, but both have dramatically different takeaways. The thing that I find interesting is that our response, or our heart in various scenarios can greatly change the impact that something has on our life.
There are many examples of this in scripture:
Two can endure hardship. One is burdened and dying in the natural, the other is being renewed and receiving a glory that will last forever. (2 Cor 4:16)
Two can work. One can get the paycheck, the other can work as if he were working for God. (Col 3:23)
Two can hear a message, sermon, or prophecy. One receives it as mere human ideas, the other as the very word of God which works in us eternally. (1 Thes 2:13)
Two can live for a cause. One has their eye on a temporal reward, the other on an imperishable crown. (1 Cor 9:25)
You can give to and serve the hungry, sick or lonely, or it can be as if you were personally serving God Himself! (Matt 25:40)