Examined

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What means more to you?

After work yesterday, I decided to stop at a large store to pick up a few items that I was needing.

Three of the items were located in the same section of aisles because they were similar products.

As I browsed the displays, I selected an item from a brand I had purchased before and was familiar with.

The package boasted, “Over 40 Million Sold.”

It also gave a date it was first manufactured—1987.

Well, that is impressive.

After all, I was buying it as a returning customer (one of 40 million).

I also chose another item in the same area that was less expensive.

The package didn’t advertise popularity for the past 27 years.

It didn’t say how many people had purchased it.

Instead, it had a shiny, silver bar of color with white letters at the top of the packaging.

The letters read, “NEW.”

New.

New?

Maybe this product would be better than the rest.

It might out perform others that were more expensive.

Maybe…..but I wouldn’t know unless I purchased it to see for myself if it was of good quality or not.

The word new gives a hint of hope in advertising.

What are the possibilities?

Perhaps something better has arrived.

When considering spiritual matters, it’s important not to be drawn by popularity or the hope of the next new thing.

It doesn’t matter if 40 million people share a personal belief when it comes to what you choose to believe.

Always looking for the latest religion to come about won’t be what you need, either.

In the book of Acts, we find a passage about the Jews in a place called Berea.

Paul and Silas told them about Jesus.

As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.  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.  As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

Acts 17:10-12

The Bereans examined the Scriptures every day.

They wanted to be sure.

It probably wouldn’t have mattered to them if Paul had said that thousands had believed his message if they had found that it contradicted the Scriptures.

They didn’t just believe because it was a “new” message, either.

They listened and sought God’s word.

In today’s world, the wisdom of the Bereans holds fast.

What about you and God?

What does the Bible actually say?

What does it say about Jesus?

About salvation?

About what your eternity holds?

It’s a very good idea, no matter where we may be on our spiritual journey with God, to listen….

and examine the Scriptures daily.

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Bereans

Secret Motives

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Why?

Why did they say that?

Why did they do that?

Why are they acting this way?

You’ve probably asked yourself these questions many times.

It could have been concerning family, friends, neighbors or coworkers.

It could have been concerning people you’d heard of in the news.

At times, we might think we know the answer to our questions already.

We consider what we know about the situations and the personalities involved.

We then form a possible conclusion for the words or actions.

This can be for good words and actions as well as the bad ones.

But do we really know why?

I don’t think so.

Only God sees the hearts of men and women, boys and girls.

People.

People like you and me.

And sometimes, we find ourselves asking the “why” questions about our own actions and words.

Haven’t you ever thought,

“Why did I say that?”

“Why did I do that?”

We may become confused about our own behavior, but God isn’t.

He knows us.

He really knows us.

Much, much better than we know ourselves.

That being said, He knows everyone else better than we do.

Much, much better.

Better than they even know themselves.

It’s okay to ask, “why?” when we are wondering about the actions of others or ourselves.

It’s even better, if we truly want to understand, to ask God to reveal to us the answer to the “why?”

He may choose not to tell us, but since He is the only One who actually knows, He is the only One who could actually give us the perfect answer.

Our words and actions begin in our hearts.

It is there that God sees who we are, with nothing hidden.

“But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

—Jeremiah 17:10

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