7 Minute Read
(I have recently been bothered by the fact that my posts often aim at the head and not necessarily the heart. This is not a small matter. The Pharisees had a lot of head knowledge, but they lacked a changed heart – and they were almost solely the object of Jesus’ anger. So, I will make some adjustments to my daily posts, desiring to take aim at the heart and not simply the head. I encourage the reader to be much more reflective, reading God’s Word much more slowly, listening to what the Lord might be saying and what personal adjustments He might be calling us to make.)
Begin with a couple of minutes of simply being quiet and still in God’s presence. Take in deep breaths and work to calm yourself in His presence.
Listen to the Lord
Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God may be saying to you through them. It may be beneficial to write down any insights He reveals to you.
Acts 17:10-12 (NLT): “That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 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 see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.”
Reflections from Scripture:
By the time we arrive at Acts 17:10-12, the reader has developed a lot of respect for Paul. We have observed how he turned from a terrorist against Jesus-followers into a passionate follower of Christ. We have read about his impeccable behavior and listened to his heart as he called all people to trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. As a result, he has gained our respect.
Imagine the respect that Luke, one of Paul’s friends who wrote the book of Acts, had for him. Yet, as Luke wrote the words of Acts 17:10-12, he wasn’t upset that the people in Berea were fact-checking Paul’s sermons. Instead, he commended them for searching the Scriptures to see if Paul was speaking the truth.
Luke said that the people in Berea were “open-minded.” Other English translations say, “noble.” The Greek word that Luke used literally meant: “a willingness to learn and evaluate something fairly.” This simply meant that they listened to the larger-than-life Paul but measured everything he said by what they knew to be true in the Bible. In their minds, they knew the Scriptures were true, but they weren’t so sure about Paul.
Friend, do you value your Bible this much? Do you spend sufficient time each day reading and studying your Bible? Are you developing a biblical mind so that you can better determine what is true and what is not in the world around you?
What adjustments is God calling you to make?
Spend Time in Prayer
Lord Jesus, help me to never solely depend upon others for what I believe and how I am to live. Instead, I desire to highly regard Your Word, spending much time in it, and developing a mind that will help me determine what is true and what is false. Help my heart to be sensitive to Your promptings so that I understand what adjustments I need to make in response to my time in Your Word. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Today’s Bible Reading:
2 Kings 9:14–10:31
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Thank you Matt, I always enjoy your messages so much…especially this one! I have missed your your prayers at the end of the lessons….hope they continue!
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Thank you for your kind and encouraging comments, Allison. I just wrote tomorrow’s article and it’s a bit lengthier. I’m trying to aim more at the heart than at the head and hope I can accomplish that.