What lessons can we learn from the Bereans? Let’s see what we can find out. Part 3
“Now those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens”
In this 3 part series (Part 1, Part 2) I hope you’ve been as encouraged as I have by the example of how Christians should live that the Bereans gave us in Acts 17. When we at Reasons for Hope* adopted the tag line of Know it! Live it! Share it! I’d never seen how the Bereans actually set that pattern years before.
We’ve briefly covered Know it! and Live it!, but what about Share it!? It’s encouraging to tell you that this example is clearly shown here as well.
Remember, the Bereans were not Christians when Paul initially spoke with them. It was after his sharing of the Gospel with them and their willingness to go and study the Scripture to see if these things were true or not that conversion came.
As a consequence of hearing the truth, then reading the truth and studying for themselves many Bereans lives were changed. That pattern is still occurring in our world today, praise God. Unfortunately, we need more people speaking the truth though and challenging a generation to search the Scriptures to see if these things are true or not.
One thing we must notice though is that even when we are obedient to what God is calling us to do there will be challenges. Notice what is recorded in Acts 17:13:
But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.
My wife and I have to constantly remember when challenges come that something amazing is about to happen. It seems to be a pattern that when the Lord is moving in a mighty way in one area, Satan is moving in another to try and distract us from staying focused. This has happened in our ministry a number of times over the years.
Take a look at what happened as a consequence of the “stirring” up, Paul is sent away. What! An effective ministry is being split up because of some bellyachers??? Some might look at this as a “division”, personally, I see it as a “multiplication”! The reason I say that is take a look at what happened.
In Acts 17:14 we’re told:
And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.
Paul went to Athens to continue ministering, Silas and Timothy stayed behind. It is incomprehensible that while Silas and Timothy stayed behind they weren’t ministering. So, ministry was actually being accomplished in two locations instead of just one.
3 years ago I left a very successful ministry that is having a major impact on Christendom. Why would I do such a thing, that’s a “division” in the body of Christ, right? Not so! This has been a major “multiplication” in ministry. As a consequence of the Lord literally pushing me out of the nest Reasons for Hope has had the privilege of ministering to approximately 100,000 people in a way that we would not have been able to do if I’d not taken the step of obedience.
Parents and those of you in ministry, please allow me to encourage you to put an intentional focus on training up the next generation for ministry. I’ll never forget reading Dr. Robert Coleman’s book entitled, “The Master Plan of Evangelism” where he made the point that Christ turned the world upside down by pouring into the 12.
Yes, Jesus poured more intimately into 3 and even more intimately into a single individual. But, Jesus impacted the world not by starting a mega-church or mega-parachurch ministry, He accomplished it by close, intimate discipleship with a few. That’s the privilege we have brother and sister in Christ. Pour into someone and prepare them to take up the Cross and move forward.
Let me finish with this, the Bereans Shared it! They went out into the world and lived with they had sold out for. Look at Acts 17:15 again:
And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.
Who do you think “they” was? It was some of the Bereans whose lives had been transformed from Knowing it! and Living it! If you don’t think so, take a look at Acts 20:4:
And he was accompanied by Sopater of Berea, the son of Pyrrhus, and by Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus
Did you catch that, Paul was accompanied by Sopater of . . . Berea! As a minimum, we know that at least one “Bereans” life was changed for eternity because of the obedience of Paul. Praise God!
Lord, I pray that you would equip and encourage us to live a life that is so clearly laied out in Acts 17 by the Apostle Paul. May we Know it! Live it! and Share it! so that many lives are transformed and become a direct reflection of you, our loving Savior! Help me to be like a “Berean” Heavenly Father, and grow in my service to You. Amen!