Search And Read

Isaiah 34:16
“Search from the book of the Lord, and read: Not one of these shall fail…”

This verse contains an exhortation followed by a promise. The exhortation is to search the book of the Lord. Webster defines search this way, “to look into or over carefully or thoroughly, in an effort to find or discover something” My wife and I look at some things quite differently. When an item is misplaced I become frustrated, thinking that if it is not where it belongs, there remains an unlimited number places to look. She on the other hand begins to search. I think she sometimes enjoys the challenge. Inevitably, in a matter of minutes, she has located that which is lost. We should approach the Word of God the way an explorer or a excavator approaches life. We must understand, there are precious treasures tucked away in the Bible, and if we are diligent, we will find the ones that are designed for our present condition. I once heard of a man in search of gold. He spent years working his claim only to come up empty. Finally, in a moment of discouragement he sold the rights to his land and moved on. The new owner, within a few days, struck it rich. The first man had given up only inches away from the mother lode.

This exhortation is a motivation with a promise; “not one of these shall fail.” This promise is like a warrantee or a guarantee. Unlike the warrantee we write, this is not followed with pages of clauses or conditions. The fact is, when God makes a promise His promise is sure. Paul wrote, all the promises of God are yes and amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). Jesus declared that even after heaven and earth pass away the Word of God will still remain (Matthew 24:35). He explained that His word was so sure that building our lives upon it is like building a house upon the bedrock (Luke 6:48). Whatever you may be facing, take the time to search within the pages of the Bible. You will find, there truly is a promise designed as a countermeasure for what you are experiencing.

Pastor Jim

 

Fair-Minded

Acts 17:11
“. . . more fair-minded. . . “

Paul and his companions were traveling throughout Greece. They had been in Philippi, Thessalonica, and would soon be in Athens. These were all very prominent cities. Philippi was the foremost city in the region of Macedonia, and Athens remained the scholastic capital of the Empire. Berea, on the other hand, was a small town, which in the large scale of things, was pretty insignificant. No one would be impressed with someone from Berea. They were not known for their universities, trade, or monuments.

While the world may not have been particularly impressed with the Bereans, Scripture certainly was. Luke takes the time to write concerning the character of these Christians. He speaks of their fair-mindedness; the King James uses the word, noble. These folks were considered nobility by the Apostles.

What is it that caught the attention of the Apostles? It was the fact that they were open to the Word of God, trusted it as the final authority on who God was and how to please Him. We read that they received the Word with readiness. This means, when their Bibles were open, they were expecting to hear from God. I imagine a scene where they have Bibles open in one hand and notepad and pen the other. They knew the Bible to be the Word of God, and anticipated that God wanted to instruct them when it was taught.

We also read, they searched the Scripture to determine if the Apostles’ teaching was true. The real authority in their lives was the Word of God. Too often, Christians will allow the church or church leaders, to be their authority and will believe anything  declared from a pulpit. The Bereans only accepted what was taught if it was consistent with the teachings of Scripture. This saved them from being caught up in the wild winds of false doctrine that could sweep through the church. Other Christians will allow culture to be their final authority and behave consistent with the world in which they live. Their practices are no different than the unbelievers that surround them; never taking time to look into the Word of God and examine what their marriage, family life, work attitude, recreational activities, and speech should be like. When we live like that, we are far from the nobility found in the Bereans.

Let’s determine that the Word of God becomes the final authority for our lives and our living. Search It daily and live accordingly. May it be said of each of us, the we are “more fair-minded.”

Pastor Jim