Thought for May 6th. “RECEIVED THE WORD WITH ALL EAGERNESS”
How do we “receive” God’s word? It is ‘food’ to nourish and build up our minds. We continue to read about the ‘adventures’ of Paul – the challenges he faced as he went from place to place to spread the true message of salvation – fulfilling the words God said to Ananias in Damascus (Acts 9 v.15) that Paul “is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
There was enthusiasm for his message in some places, but not in others – and it is the same in the world today. Paul’s first approach was to go into the local Jewish synagogue, but he almost always had a better reception among the Gentiles; he usually found some who were looking for real meaning and purpose in their lives – and it has been so ever since. But today – with nearly all surrounded day by day and week by week by the many activities this modern world thrusts before us, few have interest in seeking and getting to know the eternal purpose of existence.
We read today how Paul, when he came to a place called Berea, went into the synagogue, where he found “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.” [ch. 17 v.11]
The Scriptures of course were what we call the Old Testament and we have seen in earlier chapters in Acts passages which first Peter and then Paul quoted to prove that the coming of Jesus and his sacrifice had been revealed by God to the prophets. And today we can, if we are genuinely interested, study and quote them to see how they have foretold today’s events with the return of the Jews to their own land – and the events which will now follow – of which our New Testament also has much to reveal to us. So let us be like the Bereans – so that it can be said of us that we have “received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily …” A key question for each of us is, ‘How well-nourished is my mind in eternal matters?