Acts 17:11 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.
How do I know if what I am being taught about the Word is truth? Number one and foremost, I must be in the Word myself. In this current culture of instant access to information and constant busyness many take what they hear and read at face value.
For example: Notice how popular the internet search engines have become. I have noticed even within my own realm that if I want information about something, I use my phone to look it up on the internet. How do I know that the information I am getting is accurate? I hear a popular phrase these days and it goes something like this: “It must be true because I found it on the internet”. Now for a lot of us, that sounds silly. I know I have to approach the internet sources with a healthy amount of skepticism. But do I approach sermons and Bible studies with that same amount of skepticism? Or do I take the mindset of, “I heard it in church, so it must be true…”?
I am not advocating an approach of selective relativism. What I mean by that is simply the idea of choosing to believe only that which applies to me and what I want. Scripture should challenge us, convict us, and make us uncomfortable at times. We cannot choose only that which makes us comfortable and ignore that which might convict us of the sin we may be committing. We can, however, verify what we are hearing or reading by examining the Scriptures.
Take a look now at the passage. Paul was one of the most powerful Apostles to advance the Word of Christ into that region. Yet, the Bereans still followed up to verify if what Paul was saying was true. How did they do this? They did so by examining Scripture. Do you have a minster, teacher, pastor, or leader who you look up to and are fed by his or her teachings of Christ? It is not dishonoring or hurtful to him or her to follow up and examine the Scriptures to verify truth. I must make a conscience effort to not just take a person’s interpretation of Scripture without examining it myself as well.
It will take an intentional effort to spend time in the Word regularly to verify what I am hearing. This is hard in my busy world. I tend to want to take the teaching of another and run with it without first examining and verifying by Scripture the truth of the message. It takes time and effort to examine Scripture. I need to make an effort to be more like the Bereans to know and live in truth. The challenge is to create some margin in my life to spend time in the Word and not just rely on sermons and teachings to fill me up.
1. Are you one who verifies what you are hearing/reading or do you tend to take the messages at face value and trust the messenger?
2. Think of a time where you were uncomfortable with the message you heard or read. What did you do about that discomfort?
3. What steps will you take this week to be more intentional in examining teachings by comparing with Scripture? This week, ask God to reveal for you places in your life where you can create margins in order to make time to examine Scripture.
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