Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Believe It or Not

"This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ." Acts 17:3b

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
John 8:31-32 (NASB)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6 (NASB)

Empty hearts long for meaning. Restless mortals yearn for peace and satisfaction. Mankind pursues education, religion, power, position, money, drugs, alcohol, sex, food, acceptance, or whatever for contentment, only to eventually face futility. Humans hunger for identity with something or someone. And souls created by God search for more…….

Saul identified with his surroundings, education, and beliefs, using his influence to excel in life. But his veiled eyes missed the core of life’s meaning. His focus on religion and outward appearances generated a restless heart UNTIL he met Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). Suddenly everything changed, even his name. And God called Paul to make a change in the world. 

In the city of Thessalonica, on one of his mission trips, Paul reasoned with those like him, steeped in the education of Scriptures for religious means. He opened the Word of God and revealed the evidence of Christ. He probably even shared with them his experience on the road to Damascus. Some chose to believe while others resisted by inciting riots. As violence and attacks on followers of Christ escalated, believers sent Paul away to safety in the middle of the night. He and his mission partner, Silas, arrived in Berea where they entered the synagogue. And they shared the same good news of Jesus Christ with the Berean Jews as they had in Thessalonica (Acts 17).

Scripture says the Bereans were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians. They desired righteousness and decency. These Bereans received and believed with eagerness the gospel of Christ. Daily they searched the scriptures for truth and many believed in Jesus. 

The souls of the Berean Jews discovered Truth. They found peace in God their Creator and Savior. They gave no resistance, surrendering to God and accepting His Word. Yet even though their hearts found fulfillment in Christ Jesus, other restless souls sought to destroy their new-found peace. 

Upon hearing that Paul proclaimed the Word of God in Berea, some of the defiant Thessalonians traveled to the region. They desired to agitate the crowds and stir up trouble. Why? What bothered them so much that they would disrupt the lives of other people? Was it the name of Jesus, Paul’s witness about the Messiah, fear of the unknown, jealousy, what? What would cause such an uprising of rebellion? 

Consider these questions as we continue on this soul search together. We’ll travel with Paul as he takes the good news to Athens and confronts a diverse group of people with a plethora of beliefs. I’m sure he joyfully left Berea as he remembered how their hearts eagerly received Christ Jesus. 

Is your heart open to receive Truth like the Bereans? Or does emptiness flood your soul? Don’t despair. Keep searching for Truth. God promises you’ll find Him. 

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. Jeremiah 29:13-14a (NIV)

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4 (NIV)


  1. Wow!! Such Spiritual Quality. My favorite statement is this: "But his veiled eyes missed the core of life’s meaning. His focus on religion and outward appearances generated a restless heart UNTIL he met Jesus" My brain said, "BAM!" before I knew it. You have some wonderful pictures that accompany your lessons. You are a gift. Continue in your passion for the Lord, more rewards will come.

  2. Thanks so much, Johnnie. Bing images (the ones that are free for sharing) has a good selection of pics. Sometimes I post pictures I've taken.