A Devotional Thought from Great Commission Ministries

written by Sharon Harms

Searching

“One of the dogs in my house is obsessed about playing fetch.  He is a very mellow, 9 year old Australian shepherd.  Mellow that is until you take a tennis ball out. This dog will chase a ball forever. You throw it, he brings it back, you throw it, and he brings it back. He never gets tired of playing with a ball.  You throw it and he searches until he finds it and brings it back to be thrown again.

This is how we are to be in our Bible: Searching the Scriptures.  Act 17:11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”  There are so many false religions in the world today.  When we hear something, we need to go to the Bible to see if what we hear has any truth to it or not. 

How do you evaluate sermons and teachings?  The people in Berea opened the Scriptures for themselves and searched for truths to verify or disprove the message they heard.  Model your life after the Bereans – search the Scriptures for the truth.  John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

The truth into which the Holy Spirit guides us is the truth about Christ. The Spirit also helps us through patient practice to discern right from wrong.  As my dog chases after a ball, chase after the Truth. Always compare what you hear with that the Bible says.”

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What a great picture this is: just like Sharon’s dog would hunt after and dig for the ball, so we as Christians ought to hunger after knowing God’s Truth and dig at it until we find it.  Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it sounds, since we live in an age where we expect instant service for everything, and in some ways, we don’t work hard for anything.  Hmmm…..do you think it’s time to change this?

Now I want you to know that I am saying these words to myself as well.  For the most part, each morning as I have my breakfast, I open my Bible (actually I turn on my Kindle) and read the day’s Scripture according to my 2-year reading plan.  Many days, I see some wonderful truths contained in the verses I’ve read.  But to be honest, there are probably too many days that I simply read the passages, and then mentally put a check mark on my daily “To Do” list.

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I know it was not always like this.  In fact, the period before when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior was a very intense time of searching the Scriptures.  In one of my early articles, “For My Tears, Jesus Died”, I wrote about how I came to know for the first time that God was real.  What I did not tell you is what I did in the following months.

It was September when I went to that Youth Conference and God started tugging at my heart.  I had been attending church on and off throughout my growing up years.  But now I had more reason to be looking into the Christian faith to see if what was being preached and taught about the Bible and about Jesus was true.

At that time, our church was looking for a new pastor, and the President of the nearby Bible College was often filling in to bring the sermon.  He seemed to me to be a wise and knowledgeable man, and so I did the only thing that seemed reasonable at the time.  I would listen to the sermon and write down all the questions I could think of.  Then after the service I would stand there asking the preacher to answer all my questions.

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When I think back to that period of my life, I laugh at the image of a little 12 year-old boy standing in front of this adult and bombarding him with questions.  Thankfully, this man was very patient and did his best to give me good answers.  I did this for almost six months straight.  And at the end of that time, I was quite satisfied that the Bible really was true, and Jesus was who He said he was.

Now you might think that this was all just an intellectual investigation that was going on between me and the man.  But that would be true only if you were a nearby observer looking at what was happening on the outside.  On the inside, the more I talked with the preacher, the more that he answered my questions from Scripture, the more my inner spirit resonated with what was said, and I knew the message had to all be true.

It’s sort of like what happened to the two men on the road to Emmaus after they had been talking with Jesus for quite a while.  When they recognized Jesus, and after He disappeared, they said, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”  That was what it was like for me in my discovery process of making Jesus my Lord.

Now the challenge is to rekindle this inner desire to search the Scriptures daily with excitement and anticipation.  I believe that if we can come to the Bible and appreciate that it is “alive and powerful” as it says in Hebrews 4:12, then we will eagerly want to spend time in the Word of God.

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