This is exactly the way we should respond to the Word of God.
James 1:21 says, “…in humility receive the Word implanted, which is able to save your souls” NASB. The Greek word here for “receive” is “dechomai” and was primarily used in that day as an expression of hospitality. It literally means “to take by the hand and welcome.” (to help navigate this, I’ve underlined the English word every time dechomai is used in these verses).
This is the same word Jesus used when He said, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me” (Mark 9:37 NASB). It’s also the same word Paul used when he wrote, “and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17 NASB).
The truth is we don’t always welcome the Word, do we? We might say “hi” in passing or we might even act like we didn’t even hear the knock. We may invite the Word in to have a seat, but then get distracted by all the many things we have to do. Having begun a good conversation, we might opt out with, “I really need to take this call.”
Jesus warned us about “receiving the Word with joy” when we hear it, but then not letting it take root (Luke 8:13). Perhaps that’s why James emphasizes how we are to “receive the Word implanted.” Welcome it; then let it take root – and that takes time. Time in prayer with God about it. Time in study. Time meditating on it. Time hiding it in your heart. Time sharing it. Time putting it into action.
So you hear a knock at your door, you look out, and there stands the Word of God. What do you do?
“For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the Word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe” (1Thessalonians 2:13 NASB).
Welcome the Word.
© 2014 Tim McKenzie
On Every Word Ministries