Sunday, January 23, 2011

Good Bereans

I had been anticipating tonight all week. The team from our church that went to Uganda to serve with SOS Ministries was giving their mission trip report. I couldn't wait to hear what the Lord had done while they were there, and to find out how He had used this to work in their own hearts during that two week stay.

Oh, why do I always seem to think that I will go to things like this to just enjoy myself and not think (or pray) about how He could use it to change my own heart? So naive...

Almost every mission report I have ever heard given the people talk about how they go thinking they are going to make an impact for God and teach those they are going to only to have their own hearts worked on, and learn from the people they go to serve. It was no different tonight when we heard the report.

There were three things that I have been thinking about since hearing of them. One was how the Ugandan believers were so desperate for more of the gospel, more of Jesus, more of His word. Like I blogged about yesterday, they long for Him and His Word like a newborn babe longs for his mother's milk. To think I was just studying about this and was being convicted in my own heart about where my longings are.

The second was how every time they would share something with the believers there they would be asked where they found that in the Word. They consistently wanted to know where that was in the Bible so they could know for themselves. It reminded me so much of Paul talking about the Bereans in Acts 17:10-12:

The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these 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.  Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.
You often hear pastors and teachers tell us to be "Good Bereans", meaning we should be constantly examining the Scriptures to see if what we hear is true. I don't know about you, but I don't always do that...and I should. We should never take what we are taught about God, Jesus or the Scripture as truth until we have seen for ourselves what the Bible says on a subject (and definitely make sure it is not taken out of context and twisted!).

Convicting? It was to me!

The last was when one of the men shared about how they had gone into the village to share the gospel with the locals there. It was interesting that they received the same responses and questions that they would when going downtown to witness on the weekends. He kept saying that they are just like us, just in a different place with a lot less than we have. And really regardless of where anyone is the biggest need is Jesus. It doesn't matter if you living in plenty or in want, Jesus is the most important thing. As it was put, "Our most basic need is the gospel, all else is a blessing on top of that."

Turns out that God can use even a report of what His believers are doing in Uganda to teach me a thing or two...I have a lot to learn.

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