DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-02-15
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Acts 17:2-4
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 2 As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people. 3 He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.” 4 Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.
APPLICATION: Paul ‘reasoned’ with the people! Isn’t that an interesting translation? Some Sunday School, or Small Group teachers will slow down and reason with their students, but seldom do we see a preacher or pastor do that! What I like about this word, versus ‘preaching’ is that the teacher is trying to make sure that their students have all their questions answered about the Scriptures. I believe that most ‘preaching’ is delivered from the speakers understanding and belief system, and generally from a very dictatorial perspective. Getting down to the level of understanding by the audience is so important, I feel. For if we fail to help them grow in their understanding and in their relationship with Jesus, what good has it been for them to hear you speak? I love, love, love interactive teaching, for students will sometimes lend a personal perspective of what God has done in their life regarding the Scripture being studied. I know, the good teacher will know when to nip a conversation in the bud when an individual is merely showing off their own personality and/or value, but I believe it helps everyone to stay awake and alert to the teaching as they try to apply it to their own lives. I believe that to understand the heart of the congregation is to know that each one comes to church for their own reason, and expectation. Mom, dad or a spouse might force one to attend church out of traditional beliefs that it’s the place for all good people to be at least for one hour per week. Some may want to satisfy an obligation made to the pastor, or a friend, who invited them to church. But I believe that Paul was especially addressing the needs of the ones who knew about God, and His Son, but still had a lot of questions. In fact, most Jews tend to struggle with the idea of Jesus being the Messiah, and/or being equal with God. In reasoning with them from the Scriptures, Paul was using the inspired words of God Himself to spell out the truth of the Messiah and that Jesus was indeed that Messiah. Just as we walk away from church sometimes, and feel the need to rush home and study the Scriptures more, to make sure that we could believe what the preacher said that morning, the Jews also made some very critical decisions about Paul’s teachings. For some believed, and followed Paul and Silas, while some got all heated and wanted no further discussion, but instead they wanted to continue their fight of getting rid of these evangelists. Each week we have the same sort of crowds, for: some will stay at home unconcerned about hearing anything more about Jesus, because all is well in their family and they have no immediate need for Jesus; some will reluctantly go to church, because they feel obligated to their parents, spouse, friends or even the pastor; some will be at church in bodily form, but their minds are on the fishing, hunting or play grounds; but some might be interested in understanding the Word of God better, for they have seen over and over again how God has delivered, directed and comforted them through His Word. Friends, those that love you are already praying and encouraging you to go to church with them next weekend. In helping you decide, let me encourage you to go with the intent of better understanding the Word of God and applying it to your life in a way that He will personally speak to you about. If you do this, I am convinced that you will see such value in the teachings of God’s Word that you will be ready to lead the way for your family to learn from God’s Word every week going forward.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: God’s Word is invaluable for the one who desires to grow closer to Him, and to the one who needs more in life that worldly belongings. Listen to the teachings for God, and as you understand them, be obedient to what He is calling you to do.
PRAYER: Please help us Lord to keep our minds and desires fixed on You as our Lord and Mediator. May our desire to grow in knowledge of You become more intense each week. Help us to strive towards righteousness instead of finding fault with our pastor/preacher/teacher. May we, like the Jews who accepted the teaching of Paul and Silas, decide to follow You whole heartedly. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!