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The Scriptorium

The Word in Their Wake

Search the Scriptures. Daily. Acts 17.10-15

Savior and King (3)

Pray Psalm 33.1-5.
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
Praise the LORD with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
For the word of the LORD is right,
And all His work is done in truth.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

Sing Psalm 33.1-5.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
Sing with rejoicing in the Lord, for praise becomes His righteous ones!
With harps and songs raise grateful words, and let new songs of praise be sung!

Joyfully shout! His Word is true; He does His work in faithfulness.
His love prevails the whole world through; the Lord loves truth and righteousness.

Read Acts 17.1-15; Meditate on verses 10-15.

Preparation

1. How did the Bereans respond to Paul’s teaching?

2. Why did Paul have to leave Berea?

Meditation
From 1 Thessalonians 1, we know that Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica was effective, even though the situation made it impossible for them to remain. He and his team moved on to Berea and, as was their wont, they went to the synagogue as soon as possible (v. 10).

Paul’s consistent and thorough use of the Scriptures drove his hearers to search the Word for themselves, which was good (v. 11). The living Word of God is powerful to penetrate the souls of men, but they must be exposed to it for this to happen (v. 12; cf. Heb. 4.12). Many believed (v. 12), and the word got out, bringing rabble-rousers to Berea (v. 13). Paul departed for Athens, leaving Silas and Timothy to set things in order before joining him (vv. 14, 15).

We note Luke’s reference to Paul’s preaching as “the word of God” (v. 13). Indeed it was, as his epistles would be also, and not simply because they were consistent with what the Scriptures teach. Paul was inspired by the Spirit of God (cf. Eph. 3.4, 5), and Luke seemed to recognize this even before Paul began writing. This is a hallmark of Paul’s ministry. He was grounded in the Word, made sure to use all of it (Acts 20.27), and was careful not to go beyond what was written there in any of his teaching (cf. 1 Cor. 4.6).

Luke emphasizes the centrality of Scripture in the ongoing work of Christ for all aspects of life in the Kingdom of Christ. We cannot expect to fulfill our Kingdom-and-glory callings apart from reliance on and obedience to the Word of God.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Do you want to be fair-minded? Search the Scriptures. Do you want to receive the Word with all readiness? Search the Scriptures. Do you want to solidify your faith? Search the Scriptures. Do you want to have your sins pointed out to you so that you can repent of them? Search the Scriptures. Do you long to discern your own thoughts and the intentions of your heart? Search the Scriptures. Do you want to have your life in line with God’s purposes and blessings? Search the Scriptures.

It is a puzzlement that Christians do not read the Word of God more than they do. He did not leave us here on earth wondering what we are to do, how we are to think, or in what way we are to behave.

For many things we attempt, a manual exists to guide us. How to run your computer. How to make your appliances function properly. How much medicine should you take? Where to put the gas or electric outlet to make your car run. What are the functions and demands at our place of employment? We don’t just go out into our lives willy-nilly without any idea about how to do things. We read and study to find things out.

So why do we feel we can live like God intends without fully acquainting ourselves with His way?

The people of Berea were far more noble and fair-minded than the folks in Thessalonica because they received and searched the Word daily. Many were not even believers at the time, but they became believers because they searched this holy Word out (Acts 17.11).

In this Word is all the truth we need – living and powerful, able to equip us for every good work (Heb. 4.12; 2 Tim. 3.15-17). Let your eyes roam over Psalm 119 and see how powerful and essential the Word is for our lives. Search the Scriptures daily, and live as the Lord intends. You’ll leave a wake of truth and grace wherever you go.

For reflection

1. Why do you think so many Christians find it hard to read the Word of God daily?

2. What have you found helpful to keep you searching the Scriptures daily?

3. Whom will you encourage today to read and search the Scriptures daily?

The doctrine of Christ does not fear inquiry; advocates for his cause desire no more than that people will fully and fairly examine whether things are so or not. Those are truly noble, and likely to be more and more so, who make the Scriptures their rule, and consult them accordingly. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Acts 17.10-15

Pray Psalm 33.10-22.
Praise God that He watches over you as your soul waits on Him. Call on Him to give you the strength of His Word, that you may serve Him faithfully today, keeping your eye on Jesus as He keeps His eye on you.

Sing Psalm 33.10-22.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
He nullifies the nations’ plans; forever stands His sov’reign Word.
All they are blessed who with Him stand – the chosen people of the Lord.

God from His throne looks down on men; He knows our works and made our hearts.
Let not Your Church, let none depend on strength or skill or human arts.

God watches those who fear His Name, who hope upon His grace and love;
He keeps their souls from death and shame who trust in Him Who reigns above.

God is our Helper and our Shield; upon us let Your grace descend!
We hope in You; to You we yield; we trust in Jesus to the end.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking theScriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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