Treasuring God by Knowing His Word – My Daily Bread!
Our call to know the Word of the Lord is taken from Act 17: 11-12, NIV, which reads:
“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.”
Here we find the Apostle Paul at the beginning of his second missionary tour in the town of Berea in Macedonia. Paul and his disciples had just come from Thessalonica where a riot ensured over Paul’s message. Although “some of the Jews were persuaded, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women; others became jealous and formed a mob and started to riot in the city. Shouting these men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here.” (Act 17: 4-6, 10, NIV) Paul and his disciples had to escape at night to avoid harm.
So at a time when Paul likely needed some encouragement, God in His infinite grace sent him a blessing in the form of the Berean Christians! The passage above contrasts the response of the Bereans to the message of the Gospel vs. the response of the Thessalonians. We must note that Paul in both cases started out preaching in the synagogue, the meeting place where the Jews gathered for teaching and prayer. He was speaking to Jews who understood scripture and were familiar with Old Testament prophesy concerning Jesus. They all had the ability to check out the validity of Paul’s message for themselves.
One group was jealous and resorted to violence and the other group was curious and eagerly pursued God’s truth! The Bereans will be forever known for their eager acceptance of the message and more importantly for examining the words of Paul every day to see if they were true! They were not looking to have their ears tickled by some itinerant preacher, but took the initiative to make sure what they were hearing lined up with Scripture, the standard of God. And Paul’s blessing, many of them believed and God expanded his territory!
We today would do well to emulate the practice of the Bereans! Some Christians today have been in and around the church and close to God’s Word all of their lives; but have never examined the scriptures for themselves to see if what is being taught and preached from the pulpit lines up with God’s truth.
Jesus spoke of the dangers of not knowing the truths of God’s Word for ourselves when he warned his disciples regarding the last days, He said “many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. ” (Matthew 24:11, NIV) He indicated that these false prophets would do many things in His name but not be of Him: “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you, away from Me, your evildoers. (Matthew 7:21-23, NIV)
So how do we guard against being deceived? Well the first line of defense is knowing His Word and truths for yourself. Paul encouraged Timothy to “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV) Jude also encourages us to “build yourself up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (Jude 1:20-21, NIV)
Each Christian owns the responsibility for knowing and spreading God’s truths found in His Word! So Saints, strive to be like the Bereans, the ultimate truth seekers who examined the scriptures daily to know if what they were being told matched the Holy Word! Hold fast to His Standard, that by your conduct others might draw courage and believe!
Copyright© 2011-2012 Colleen Holton All Rights Reserved.