By Janelle Pollard
When I was a kid, there were a few words that I’d always believed were correct until I was a little older and found out they were, in fact, not actual words. A couple examples:
– “Wallago” — “a while ago” – Example of this word used in a sentence: “My brother went to his friend’s house wallago so he will probably be home soon.”
– “Human beans” — “human beings” – Example of this used in a sentence: “Aliens live in outer space, but human beans live on earth.”
When I found out, at the age of about 6 (or maybe 16, but who’s counting?), what the words truly were, my mind was blown. How could I have been wrong for so many years on something I absolutely knew to be true? Well, as I have learned many times over, it is very possible to be wrong on something you believed wholeheartedly to be correct. This is just a fact of life. This fact matters most when it comes to our faith.
Have you ever believed something for as long as you can remember only to find out later you were wrong? I have. It can be a humbling realization and a hard pill to swallow. What we choose to do with that realization is what really matters. If this drives us to seek answers and find the truth, we will grow in more ways than we probably could have ever imagined. We will learn more about God, and in turn, ourselves. Our knowledge, faith, and assurance will increase.
I will admit that sometimes I read my Bible with a checklist type of mentality. While there is, of course, never any harm in reading the Bible, it won’t do near as much good to help my faith and knowledge grow as it would if I carve out time in my day for an intentional Bible study. (Side note: I have found that it’s easier to put consistent Bible study on the backburner if I see this as a task I must do rather than seeing it as a means of finding out more about who God is. Changing your mindset on why you are studying God’s Word can make all the difference if you are having trouble making this a priority in your life!)
In Acts 17:11, the author writes about a group of Jews known as the Bereans. We don’t hear a lot about the Bereans, but they set a great example for us in one single vese. “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” A few things I noticed about this verse:
1. The Bereans were noble.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “noble” is defined as “having or showing very fine or admirable qualities.” These people were special.
2. They received the word “with all eagerness.”
If you are eager about something, you are excited! The Bereans were enthusiastic and ready to dig for a deeper understanding of God’s Word.
3. They examined the Scriptures.
They were not checking off a to-do list in order to get to their next duty. They were actively investigating.
4. They did this daily.
This is what I like to call a good ol priority. If something is not a priority, we may or may not get to it. But if it is, it is part of your day and is something that will occur without question. This text is not a command, but gives us an example that we would be wise to emulate.
5. They wanted to make sure what they were reading was true.
Sometimes as human beans, we can be lazy. As I have been guilty of, we can take a belief of someone we trust and accept it as accurate and true. But when we don’t examine these beliefs for ourselves to make sure they are correct, our very souls could be at risk.
We should try to be more like the Bereans every day because one day, we will be judged by what is in the Bible, according to John 12:48, which says, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” If we know that the Bible is the book by which our souls will be judged one day, maybe we should ask ourselves if we really know what it says. The only way to find out is by opening it and like the Bereans, “examining the Scriptures daily.” “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
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