You have to do your homework

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Hearing from God”
Our Bible verse for today: “The people here (Berea) were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, since they received the word with eagerness and examined the Scripture daily to see if these things were so. Consequently, many of them believed …” Acts 17:11-12 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You have to do your homework”
In Acts 17:11-12 the Apostle Paul was experiencing a little bit of heaven on earth for a preacher and teacher. He had a group of Bible students who were eager to be taught and who were happy to do their homework. The passage tells us that the Bereans listened closely to the Biblical truths Paul was sharing with them, and then they opened the Scriptures and searched for themselves to be sure Paul was being accurate and that they were understanding correctly. Yes, they searched the Scripture for themselves (and all the preachers out there said, “hallelujah!”)
Far too many Christians do not search the Scriptures for themselves. They don’t compare what they’re hearing to what the Bible actually says, nor do they search the Scripture for guidance from God regarding making important decisions. Sometimes it’s because we’re lazy; in some cases, it’s because we don’t know how to search the Bible like that; and also, all too often, Christians simply assume they know what God has to say on any given subject when in fact, they don’t – or at least they don’t know for sure and accurately.
When needing Biblical guidance on an issue, the primary way to find what you’re looking for in the Bible is to do a word search. Select key words pertaining to the issue and then use a concordance to direct you to all the places in the Bible that pertain to that subject. Then prayerfully let the Holy Spirit impress upon you verses and passages that pertain to your situation (but be careful not to take the Scripture out of context). You can even Google it. No kidding, it turns out that Google is a helpful Bible search tool. Just type in “Bible verses about …” and almost instantly you will be directed to multiple Christian websites that provide lists of verses and passages that pertain to your issue.
Another important way of seeking and finding guidance from God’s written Word is to be thoroughly familiar with Biblical principles (as discussed in a previous devotional in this series). Know basic Biblical principles so well that when faced with situations in life that require decisions and actions, you already have a general sense of how God would have you act. Then go to the Bible and review those principles (in context) to be sure you are remembering them correctly and applying them accurately to your situation.
Knowing the Bible that well and frequently referring to it for this kind of guidance results in having what we call “a Biblical worldview. Tomorrow we will think about how God uses a Biblical worldview to speak to us and to guide us.  
But our lesson for today is: if you want to hear from God you have to do your homework.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
(If you like what you’re reading in these daily devotionals, and if you would like more content from Oak Hill Baptist Church, join us on Sundays at 10:00 – in-person if you are nearby or, if you are geographically distant or if you just can’t make it, online at
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