September 26, 2014
Search the Scriptures
By Skip Heitzig
"[The believers at Berea] 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" (Acts 17:11).
Bible teachers love to use this verse, and "searching the Scriptures" is a good model for us to follow. There needs to be a balance between receiving what we hear and studying for ourselves.
What many people don't realize is that these Bereans were unbelieving Jews who were searching through the Torah, the Old Testament. As Paul taught about how the Scripture proved that Jesus was the Messiah, they thought, "All right, I'm open; let's see if these things are so." They searched to see if indeed those prophecies were messianic. And, being open-minded, they found these things were so, they were persuaded, and they came to Christ.
But, again, it's good for anybody to use that as a model. Don't just agree with any Bible teacher—I don't care who he is, or how great or anointed or world-famous he is. It's good to receive, to be humble and open. You don't want to sit there with arms folded and say, "I don't believe a thing you're saying!" That's ridiculous. But there's a balance between receiving and then saying, "Let me search that out on my own, so I know for sure it's from God."
Let me encourage you: please be that kind of Bible student. You won't grow spiritually on bite-size sermons or sermonettes once a week, or even a couple of times a week. Sermons are good, but I hope they stimulate you to search through the Bible. We have to learn how to feed ourselves, so to speak, how to search the Scriptures on our own.
If you don't have a Bible reading plan, consider this: it takes about seventy hours to read from Genesis through Revelation at a moderate speed. In a year's time, that's about twelve minutes a day, or a little more if you read more slowly. That's something anybody can accomplish. You can read the gospel of Luke in three hours, or Psalms in four-and-a-half hours. So take it in chunks, be committed to it every day, and when you're done, go through it again.
Each year, you spend an average of 2,000 hours working, 3,000 hours sleeping, and 550 hours eating. Now compare all of those activities—important as they are—with feeding your soul and discovering the truth of God.
As you read the Bible every single day and learn to search the Scriptures on your own, you will grow. And you'll realize the excitement of knowing Him!
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