Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, February 15, 2015
Based Upon Acts 17
What is the basis of your belief system? Is it based upon historically held thoughts? Is it what your grandparents passed on? Do community organizers in your area inform your worldview? How about television preachers? Are they your source of understanding?
I come from a body of believers who, as of June 2013 recorded almost 18 million members, worldwide. We believe in the Bible as our only rule and guide to life. We embrace the blessing of salvation through Christ alone, the loving care of God the Father, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives. There are many truths we hold dearly in these last days that knit us together in unity such as: Jesus, who is well acquainted with the feelings of our infirmities, ever lives in a most holy ministry to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and to seal us in that state before He comes. We believe that our deceased loved ones are resting in the grave, awaiting the resurrection, and not floating around, disembodied either in torment, or having to watch the events of earth unfold as they are supposed to be in paradise. We believe that Jesus is able to keep us from falling, no matter how many years we cherished our darling sins, once we live in submission to Him. We look forward to the day that we, with the faithful ones of them, will hear the blast of Jesus’ trumpet, and we will be caught up to meet Him in the air. We believe that our Father has preserved a special appointment on the seventh day of every week for us to come aside and culminate all of our worship experiences from the week, on the only day He has called holy, as a sign of His power to deliver all who trust Him, from sin. We believe that one day the enemy of us all will ultimately be destroyed, with all of his sympathizers, and sin will never show its ugly head again. We believe that God will finally have the satisfaction of welcoming countless people who rest their faith in Him, from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people into His presence, nevermore to depart. I could go on-and-on about the precious truths we love, but why do so many of us believe?
Our theme chapter highlights a small group of Bereans who distinguished themselves in Christian history for one reason—they did not center their beliefs upon the words of people. They heard the teachings of God from the apostles, and searched the Scriptures to see whether those things were so. They were only satisfied when they knew that the foundation of their hope was Christ in His Holy Word. That is our lesson for today. No matter how your legacy of understanding has been passed on to you, always revel in the privilege you have to search the Scriptures for yourself in the power of the Holy Spirit, and hold fast to that which is found there, and steadfastly refuse that which is not. In this we find safety and assurance as we await our Master’s return.