Disciples Eagerly Engage the Word

The Billy Graham Library, Charlotte, NC

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so (Acts 17:11).

The word ‘eagerness’ (προθυμία) is also translated numerous places in the NT as “readiness” (2 Corinthians 8:11, 12, 19; 9:2). Merriam-Webster noted the contrasted words were lackadaisicality, languor, lethargy; aloofness, disinterest; apathy, deliberation, detachment, impassivity, stolidity. (Merriam-Webster, I. (1996).

Think about the time you woke up or your children or grandchildren woke up on Christmas morning. I love our children because they always let us sleep in, but when it was time, it was time. You never saw a child approach a present with their name on it with disinterest or aloofness. There is nothing lackadaisical about a child on Christmas morning. Their eagerness to find out what was in store could not be squelched.

I don’t really know why, but I see these Bereans eagerly, readily, willingly tearing into the Scriptures because in them was their treasure–their long-awaited rescuer, their Messiah.

These folks are called noble, a word used to address nobility of birth, a higher rank. Now, we must realize that, over and over, God shows no partiality. He loves us all as His imagebearers. Yet, His Word does show that their character was impressive in their willingness to see if what they were saying was true.

Another aspect we cannot forget is how the apostle Paul must have preached. Now, in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul noted that he did not come with “lofty speech or wisdom,” like the other orators of the day. But one cannot help but wonder about the attitude in which Paul preached and taught. Did the eagerness equally put off the Thessalonians and compel the Bereans? What motivated Paul? 2 Corinthians 5:11-15 says:

11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

2 Corinthians 5:11-15

Paul preached with a passion about the Person of Christ. You see, preaching, teaching, and sharing Christ comes from a fear of God, a love of God, and a love for those who we wish to see rescued from their sin and brokenness. It’s a desire to see people become third chair, Christ-treasuring, all-in disciples of Jesus.

  • Are you eagerly delving into the Scriptures? Why or why not?
  • Are you engaged with the Scriptures daily? Do you have a plan to engage the Word daily?
  • Read Psalm 19:7-10 and see the role the Scriptures play in conversion and revival of believers and churches.

(To listen to the entire sermon, click here to access our FB page on Facebook Live.)

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