May: LABOURING TOGETHER… in the Scriptures!

This year we have stressed the importance of God’s people labouring together and I have been so blessed watching many of our folk take up this challenge. During our spring outreach program many people “Knocked their Neighborhoods” inviting their neighbors to our Resurrection musical.  In a little more than a month, we passed out over 5,000 invitations as a church family. We saw our attendance increase to sixty more people than we normally have on a Sunday morning.  Thank you church for “Labouring Together!” This month we continue this emphasis by considering what it means to labour in the Scriptures. Our memory verse says, “And these were more noble than those at Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so” Acts 17:11.

Paul is speaking about the people in Berea (at the Jewish Synagogue –cp. 17:10) and how they responded to the Word in contrast to those in Thessalonica. While there were folks who did responded wonderfully to Paul’s preaching of the Word there (1 Thessalonians 2:13); many rejected the truth of the Scriptures (Acts 17: 5-9) and opposed the Gospel. On the other hand, the Bereans were described as more noble for the way in which the laboured in the Word. Notice the things that the Bereans did.

First, they received the Word of God. The word noble used in verse 11 simply means “high born.” It was Bob Jones Sr. who said, “No man is high born until he is born from on high.” One of the marks of a person truly being born again is a willingness to respond to the Word of God. The Jews at Thessalonica had had the same extensive training in Old Testament Scriptures that those at Berea had, but many of them rejected the clear teachings on Messiah (cp. vv. 2-5) that Paul presented to them.  The Jews at Berea were anxious to hear Paul’s preaching and to receive it. Paul said that they received it with “…all readiness of mind…”  The idea of this phrase was that they were eager to hear what the Scriptures had to say. Are you eager to hear the Scriptures or are you bored?

The second part of verse 11 tells us that the Bereans studied and searched the Scriptures to see if Paul’s preaching was true. The Bereans were more impressed with the Scriptures than they were with the speaker. Paul was presenting a new truth to them that Jesus was Messiah and he was using the Old Testament Scriptures to prove his point. This caused the Bereans to search Paul’s scriptural arguments to see if the thing Paul was preaching was true. Every “God-called” preacher is thrilled when people search the Scriptures. Will you labour in the Scriptures to know why you believe what you believe? If so, you will grow and God will use you to teach others.