November 26. Acts 17:1 – 18:18.
17:1Paul and Silas then traveled through the towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people. 3 He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.”
As you read through today’s narration of Paul’s life and ministry it may be hard to miss the topic of studying and knowing well the Scriptures. Paul amazed people with his knowledge of the Scriptures and his knowledge, in turn, caused many to study the Scriptures further for themselves in order to confirm or try to disprove what he taught.
What does it take to have that kind of knowledge and command of God’s Word, that at any moment, in any situation, and with any audience you can direct their hearts and thoughts to Jesus Christ or God the Creator? What would your life be like, in the same profession or job that you have now, but what would it be like if your understanding and ability to handle God’s Word were sharper?
Prominent and powerful men and women were moved and their lives changed when they heard Paul’s presentation and explanation of God’s Word, the Jewish history, the law and the prophets.
17:4 Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.
17:10 That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.
17:32 When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” 33 That ended Paul’s discussion with them, 34 but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
18:4 Each Sabbath found Paul at the synagogue, trying to convince the Jews and Greeks alike. 5 And after Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul spent all his time preaching the word. He testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.
18:9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! 10 For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” 11 So Paul stayed there for the next year and a half, teaching the word of God.
Why not begin today, your quest to increase your knowledge and understanding of God’s Word? Do not be afraid to share what you do know. Do not be silent with God’s truths. Your world needs truth, light, and life, and they are found in God’s Word. Trust that God will be with you as you share His Word with others, even with those who may seem more powerful than you, or those who may intimidate you.