Acts 17 -- 19
The Apostle Paul and his co-worker Silas were brutally beaten by a mob in Philippi, then thrown into prison; but they were released the next day. Paul was no quitter and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed. . . . to Thessalonica (Acts 16:40 -- 17:1). Wherever he went, Paul always attended the Synagogue, and for three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the (Old Testament) Scriptures . . . that Christ must suffer, and rise again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. And some of them believed (17:2-4). When the unbelieving religious leaders were made aware of this, they created a riot. After the riot, Paul left at night and traveled southwest to Berea, where the Jews received the Word (concerning Jesus as their Messiah) with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, to see if these things were so. Consequently many of them believed (17:11-12) and received Jesus as their Messiah.
After searching the Scriptures, they were honest enough to receive Christ as their Messiah, although it contradicted the tradition and decision of their religious authorities in Jerusalem. This should encourage everyone, regardless of religious training, to study all the Scriptures with a sincere desire to know the Truth, regardless of traditional teachings of men.
There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity. Our Creator has allotted each of us 24 hours a day and only one lifetime, with a dual responsibility -- to be the person He wants us to be in order to accomplish the purposes for which He created us. Think how tragic it would be to fall short of fulfilling the perfect will of God, wasting our few short years achieving material, social, and financial goals for self-gratification, but failing to accomplish the purpose for which He created us.
One cannot continue to read through the Bible without being deeply convinced of the miraculous unity of the entire Book. It was written over a period of 1500 years by more than 40 authors. Some were prophets, some kings, and others peasants. We marvel at how each book is arranged exactly where it needs to be in order to portray the perfect purpose of the One True Author. Through the books of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:44) -- the three Hebrew divisions of the canonized Old Testament -- we become overwhelmingly convinced that all the Bible has but One Author speaking through many human writers to reveal only one plan of our Creator God to redeem a sinful world.
Our search through the Scriptures regarding Jesus Christ begins with the first prophecy of Him in Genesis 3:15, then, on through the books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets. We see His life, death, resurrection, ascension, and prophesied second coming as recorded in the New Testament. After completing that search, we too can say with utmost confidence: There is none other Name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
Government Officials: Sec. Bill Richardson (Department of Energy) and Rep. Ellen Tauscher (CA) · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WTRM-FM, Winchester, VA · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast sponsored by the Tony Martin Family · Country: Japan (124 million) off the eastern coast of Asia · Major language: Japanese · Religious freedom · 57% Buddhist; 27% Shintoist and other Eastern religions; 3% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Have faith that God always keeps His promises (Genesis 17:16 & 21:2-3).
Memory Verse for the Week: