Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 25, 2012 … A “Berean” Mindset

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 330

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Acts, Chapters 17 To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passages: Acts 17: 10-15 : [NLT] … {Paul and his traveling companions on the 2nd missionary journey found the preaching difficult in Thessalonica, where Paul was run out of town by a mob of jealous Jews and city leaders. He traveled to Berea where the Jews there were more dedicated to God’s truth; and the Bereans searched the scriptures to see if his preaching conformed to the Scripture – God’s Book of the Law – as they knew it; and they found that nothing Paul preached was untruth. Therefore, many in Berea believed in the Lord and were converted.}  
10 That very night {in Thessalonica} the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the synagogue. 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did some of the prominent Greek women and many men. 13 But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble. 14 The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind. 15 Those escorting Paul went with him to Athens; then they returned to Berea with a message for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him. 

My Journal for Today: Today’s chronological read had me in Acts, Chapter 17, which contains some historical accounts of Paul and Silas as they traveled on Paul’s second missionary journey in Asia-Minor, more specifically in Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens. There is a lot of drama and interesting events in Acts 17, about which I could comment; but I want to extract one of Paul’s encounters, in verses 10-15, about his preaching in Berea, to post this journal entry.

This section of scripture means a lot to me personally because I identify with the Bereans. When I became a Christian, when I was 39 years old, I had been identifying myself as an “agnostic” for almost 20 years of my adult life. When I was 18 when I was confronted and challenged by an atheist in college; and I had no logical arguments for him and I lost my intellectual faith in Christ. Then, at almost 40, I was broken by the truth of my “lostness’” and I emotionally became a seeker after truth. I had conditioned myself to be a cynic, questioning everything about Christianity. But when a set of circumstances (to lengthy to recount here) broke me to a place where I began to seek after Christ and His gospel truth, I saw nothing else to do but what Christians told me to do; and that was to get into God’s word to see if it helped to explain to my confused heart what my seeking intellect was trying to understand.

And so, like the Bereans in Acts 17, I began to delve into God’s word to check out the intellectual and logical validity of God’s word, to see if it would confirm what I was feeling in my heart. And the deeper I studied God’s truth in Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments, the reality and truth of what Paul would write later to a seeking Christian, Timothy, in 2nd Tim. 3: 16-17, … as well as what Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 55: 11 as scripture, … convinced me that my decision to follow Christ was an intellectually sound decision as well as the powerfully emotional choice I had made to follow Christ. Be a “Berean” and check out these two passages!

Because these truths, on display in Isaiah 55: 11 and 2nd Timothy 3: 16-17, if internalized, clearly say that God’s Scriptural truth is all we need to be a disciple of Jesus, The Christ. And the truths in Scripture are also all we need to live our lives in this world as well. God has brought His truth and His word into the miraculously compiled canon of Scripture; and it gives us all the truth any believer will ever need to live out their lives following the One Who gave us His word, … Jesus, … the One about Whom THE BOOK was written.

So, I have become “a Berean” believer, going directly to the Scriptures as I know them, when I need enlightenment or understanding; and as the Bereans found, I ALWAYS find light to lead me through darkness, … direction when I need a personal GPS, … and empowerment when I’ve feeling weak. Therefore, I think we all need to have a Berean attitude and use God’s word to guide us through life. Because as Paul wrote in 2nd Tim. 3: 16-17, His truth will be what is described by another truth-seeker, the author of Psalm 119, who wrote about God’s word (in Ps. 119: 105), “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” 

My Prayer Today: … On this Thanksgiving weekend, Lord, I’m so grateful for the light and truth we all have in Your Word. Amen

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