Acts 17:11 NKJV
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
Did you know that when Americans were still British citizens prior to the Revolution, it had been illegal to print English-language Bibles in America? With the final victory at Yorktown, that policy was terminated and Congress appointed a committee to print “a neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools.”3 On September 12, 1782 Congress officially approved that Bible. This edition of the Bible has come to be known as the Bible of the Revolution with the following endorsement of Congress printed on its front page:
"Whereupon, Resolved, That the United States in Congress assembled...(and) recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States."4
Our Congress recognized the value and importance of God's Word for the benefit of the people of this great nation and therefore agreed on and recommended an English-speaking Bible for all who live here, beginning in our school system. No doubt about it, God wants to be in relationship with us and has given us the means to do it. We have the freedom to openly read the Bible in this nation and the choice to apply the wisdom we gain from it.
We read in Acts 17:11 how the people eagerly listened to the Word spoken to them, and then did their own homework and research. It wasn’t just enough for them to hear the word. Rather, it was important for them to meditate on it and let it seep into their minds, heart, and soul. We can do the same thing today. There have been times when I’ve heard a terrific sermon and then not gave it another thought. On the flip side, when I study out for myself what I’ve heard, the Holy Spirit teaches me the truths that were presented and those truths become first-hand knowledge for me. Not only do they become a part of my spirit, but they become a part of my mind so that in certain times I can call on the Lord to recount His word to me. The difference is amazing and life changing. The Bible is the tool that we use to build our own relationship with God. It’s not just a book. It is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). Challenge yourself to make more time to read God’s word today.
- Read - Re-read Acts 17:11.
- Think - The job of a pastor is to shepherd. A shepherd’s responsibility is to lead the sheep to a green pasture, where they can be nourished and protected from predators. However, the sheep are the ones that have to make the effort to eat, drink and follow the leading of the shepherd.
- Write - Write about how you currently respond after receiving the Word. Are there steps you can take to deepen your response?
- Pray - Ask God to help you receive the Word eagerly and for the desire to search the Scriptures to confirm what you have heard.
- Take away - Our job is to stay ready and open and to the word of God and to study for ourselves. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to bring the word to life.