“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11
This Sunday begins an exciting journey for our church in the area of teaching. It is the beginning of a return to the Scriptures (even though we never really left them). We are starting a more direct approach into understanding the Scriptures. We start Sunday with the Book of James, and then continue into 2018-2019 by preaching from Genesis to Revelation.
The question is, why is this so important? There was a presentation at church about these series, a video email, and now this email, why so much emphasis? A recent study by the Lifeway Research Group shows that Bible reading and knowledge is decreasing within the church. Only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. Over 40 percent of the people attending read their Bible occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible—roughly the same number who read it every day.
We cannot affect those numbers across America, but we can change those numbers here at Faith. It is leadership’s desire to see our church grow closer to God’s Word: to read it, understand it, grow from it, and draw closer to God through it. We want to be a Church body that seeks God’s Word above everything else. Attendance at the 9 am class can play a part in changing the Biblical literacy at Faith, the preaching series can help, the small groups can help, and hopefully all these together develop a desire to read God’s Word daily within our homes. The studies also show that the biggest stated hindrance to reading is busyness. We need to be purposeful about finding the time to set aside for God.
The verse above is a great example of how we should handle the Scriptures. The Bereans did not just take whatever Paul said as the truth, but instead they examined their Scriptures every day to find the truth. There is a phrase within many Christian circles for believers to “Be like the Bereans,” to be people that seek out and not only read but also examine and understand the Scriptures.
I hope that we see the possibilities that all of these opportunities give us as a church to dig deeper into God’s Word. I pray that we would all take advantage of these opportunities and not let the busyness of life get in the way of drawing closer to God through His Word. Church is not just a place to attend, it is a place to grow.