By Olivia Grubbs

Faith for the Long Haul

Summer Devotional Week 9

GETTING STARTED

Often times, people hear about God’s love and mercy and they’re excited. They say, “Yes! That’s what I want.” But then, their faith fizzles out after awhile. We might look around and wonder why some people seem to have a faith that carries them through trials, while others seem to be blown about by the winds of the storm. The Berean Jews were the kind of folks that had a strong and secure faith. Let’s read into why.
 

Acts 17:10-12

10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
 

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

  1. What two actions make the Berean Jews more noble than those of Thessalonica?
  2. What was the result of their “examining the Scriptures”?
  3. Why do the Jews fact check Paul’s message?
  4. What can you do to increase the fruitfulness of your time in God’s Word? If you’re not sure, talk to your staff member or a mentor, and ask for their advice!

CLOSING REFLECTION

 
Is it Paul’s preaching that causes them to believe? No! They are inspired by Paul’s teaching to see if the Scriptures line up. It’s studying God’s Word and realizing that God has been faithful to fulfill His promise that causes them to believe!
 
Are you questioning God’s love? His promise of peace? His goodness in trials? How do we find faith to believe in God’s promises? It’s by studying His Word. In His Word, God has given us everything we need to know Him-- His character, His promises, and His track record of faithful provision.
 
We can look to the prophecies that have been and will be fulfilled. We can learn from the stories of believers who have gone before us. And we can study the explicit teaching of God Himself through Jesus. This is where a strong faith comes from!
 
Looking back to the passage, you’ll notice they did two things: received the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures everyday. If they had just received the message with eagerness and not studied the Scriptures (like so many of us do), their faith would dry up because they would have no deep roots. God’s Word is the water to the seed of faith! We flourish when we are rooted in it because we have truth to lean on when things get tough.
 
Even more, we have truth to lean on when our brothers and sisters are struggling! As Christians in our chapters, we have the incredible opportunity to point people back to something so much more powerful than a nice quote or a sermon. We have the living and active Word of God that breathes life into people!
 
Lean into that! Start studying it with eagerness everyday! When you do, you’ll get watch not only your faith, but the faith of your brothers and sisters flourish.
 
Olivia Grubbs is a rising senior at the University of Iowa. She's a Chi Omega and blogs at https://popcornandproverbs.wordpress.com/
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