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. Acts 17:11
We have traveled along with Paul and the Apostles from the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem through Paul’s Missionary journeys around Asia. Along the way we have witnessed the Holy Spirit changing lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Individuals have experienced the joy of the Gospel and could not help to share it with everyone they met.
This week we study Acts 17 where Paul & Silas travel to Thessalonica teaching in the synagogue three weeks in a row. He taught from the Scriptures (our Old Testament) how Jesus is the Promised Savior. Many Jews believed, both men and women came to become followers of Jesus.
As not everyone believed the Gospel message Paul & Silas moved to Berea to continue teaching about Jesus. There they were more warmly received by the open hearts and minds of the people in Berea. So much so that the people read the Scriptures for themselves to ensure what Paul & Silas were teaching was true.
The Bereans believed Paul & Silas but studied the Scriptures for themselves to read God’s Word with their own eyes. They heard the stories of faith and then went to God themselves to learn more and begin growing in their faiths.
We learn much from the Bereans. We see the importance of reading Scriptures in our own lives so that we can hear directly from God. We cannot solely rely on someone else studying the Bible and then teach us what they learned. We learn from teachers of the faith. We also learn from our own time in the Bible hearing from God directly.
The more time we spend in the Bible on our own we better recognize God’s Voice. We more readily know the quiet nudges in our hearts when God is leading us in a new direction or giving us courage in the face of fear. For the times we wonder what God is doing we can hear God whisper in our ears “I got this.”
As you continue on your faith journey spend time each day reading the Bible for yourself. It can be a chapter at a time highlighting verses that pop out to you. Or it can be 3-4 chapters seeing how the story of God flows through the pages.
YouVersion Bible App is a great resource with 100s of reading plans. They range from 3 days in length all the way to over a year. You can search for a plan by topics such as faith, patience, hope. Or you can find a plan that takes you through the Bible in a year chronologically (not in the order they are in). Find the plan that works for you. If more than one plan interests you save it for later.
Spending time in Scripture is a vital part of one’s faith journey. It helps each follower to recognize God’s Voice. May your time in God’s Word be encouraging so you grow closer to God each day.
This Week’s Challenge
Begin a Scripture reading plan this week. If you currently have a reading plan save one for later in the YouVersion app.