How do we receive the word of God? When it is taught or preached what should be our attitude and approach to receiving the word of God? Acts 17 narrates Paul’s ministry in a number of cities. In Thessalonica there was persecution because of their preaching. When Paul and Silas came to the city of Berea they preached the word of God. Acts 17.11 tells us the response:
Now these [the Bereans] were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
These “noble-minded” Bereans did two things. First, they “received the word with great eagerness.” They were eager to hear that which was from God. There was no apathy in their approach to hearing or learning. They were interested and excited to hear from God. Second, they went to the Scriptures to examine the truthfulness of what they were being taught. The loved the authority of the word and examined all truth claims in light of the Scriptures.
By these two marks of the Bereans we can test ourselves. Do we hunger for the word? Are we eager to hear from God? What of today—have you come to hear the word of the living God? Does that prospect excite you? What about your authority—do you take all claims and test them by the Scriptures? Are you developing in your understanding of the Bible to such a degree that you are able to examine the Scriptures to see what is true in what you hear?
The Bereans give us a great example of a Scripture-oriented community who love the word of God and know how to use the word of God to test everything by its truthfulness. May we, too, love the Scriptures and live by the Scriptures in this way.