Summary: I would like to thank Pastor Rick Boyne for sharing this sermon from Acts. It has been a blessing as well as a great help, as I spend my days caring for my dying father.
The Berean Church Shows Why I Need to Read My Bible Acts 17:10-12
A man was talking with a farmer about his soy bean and corn crops.
Rain had been abundant, and the results were evident but the farmer’s next comment surprised him: "My crops are especially vulnerable. Even a short drought could have a devastating effect." "Why?" the man asked. The farmer explained that while we see the frequent rains as a benefit, during that time the plants are not required to push roots deeper in search of water. The roots remain near the surface and a drought would find the plants unprepared and even a short dry spell could quickly kill them.
Some Christians receive abundant "rains" of worship, fellowship, and teaching. Yet when stress enters their lives, many have no idea what to do or worse, they blame God for being unfaithful. The reason is their roots have yet to make it deeper than the surface. See they may be sitting under some of the most anointed teaching known to man but they fail to get personally involved with the Word and its Author. It’s so important to understand that only those rooted deep in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, through His Word will survive the droughts of life.
The message today is about the importance of reading God’s Word and understanding that we must have more than just a surface knowledge of God’s Word in our lives.
Too many come to church and leave their bibles sitting on the shelf or the table where they sit all week. That Bible is more obedient than most dogs because you set it on the table/shelf and tell it to “Stay” and it does. It remains there unopened, all week.
I read about a seminary professor who, while studying in the Holy Lands, met a man who claimed to have memorized the Old Testament--in Hebrew! Needless to say, the astonished professor asked for a demonstration and a few days later they sat together in the man's home. "Where shall we begin?" asked the man. "Psalm 1," replied the professor, who was an avid student of the psalms. Beginning with Psalm 1:1, the man began to recite from memory, while this professor followed along in his Hebrew Bible. For two hours the man continued word for word without a mistake as the professor sat in stunned silence. When the demonstration was over, the professor discovered something even more astonishing about the man.
The man was an atheist! Here was someone who knew the Scriptures better than most Christians ever will, and yet he didn't even believe in God.
Jack Kuhatschek, Taking The Guesswork Out of Applying The Bible, IVP, 1991, p. 16.
It’s not about memorizing Scripture. It’s about hiding it in your heart.
I have a little test for you.
Don’t answer out loud but which of the following phrases are not found in the Bible?
Cleanliness is next to godliness.
God helps those who help themselves.
Confession is good for the soul.
Money is the root of all evil.
Honesty is the best policy.
How many of these did you recognize as Scripture?
The truth is not a single one of these, as read, are found in Scripture, yet many of you sitting here, right now, arguing the point in your mind. So I’ll challenge you to show me. But please wait until after the service.
I want to show you something that may seem a little confusing.
Looking at [1 Thess. 2:13KJV] “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
The KJV says “When you received the word, you received it”
For some this sounds like double-talk but it’s not. It’s actually 2 different words in the original language.
The first word is Paralambano, in the original and means to casually taste something, or to hear it with only your ears
The second “recieved” is Decomai, meaning to hear it with your heart, to embrace or welcome.
They not only heard it with their ears, but welcomed it their hearts.
How important is it that we hear the Word with our hearts and not simply with our ears?
Let me give you a few good reasons for taking our personal Bible reading seriously.
1. So I can know, for myself, the truth about God and the Bible…
Notice what the Bereans did, in verse 11. They didn’t simply accept Paul’s words as truth. They searched the Scriptures to make sure they were being told the Truth.
The people of Berea were even tempered and open-minded. They had a willingness and a desire to know the truth and they, personally, searched the Scriptures for confirmation of what Paul was teaching.