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18/01/2022 04:00 - 19/01/2022 02:00

"My people are destroyed because they have no knowledge. You priests have refused to learn, so I will refuse to let you be priests for me. You have forgotten the law of your God, so I will forget your children" - Hosea 4:6 (NIV). 

The Apostle Paul during his missionary journeys often met with contracting reception. Upon arrival in Thessolonica as was his habit he moved to the town centre and began to engage the townsfolk with the Gospel (Acts 17:2). There "Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women. But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city" (vv 4-5).

Under these circumstances Paul and his entourage was forced out without being given much of a chance. Moving on to the next stop over in Berea there they met a more cooler reception. "Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" (vv 11).

The contrast here is that the Bereans were knowledge seekers. Other than merely act on the wind of emotions they were up and ready to engage with these visitors and their new teachings. Unlike the Thessolonians who acted more out of fear for losing what they held on as truth these could entertain any teaching with a certain confidence. In the end; "As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men" (12).

The Bereans are referred to as "of noble character" for they were a people who valued knowledge. Their minds were broad, curious and open to receiving new truths. Because of this many received salvation unlike the riotous Thessolonians.

All knowledge starts with God and He desires us to grow in the knowledge of truth. When any people despise knowledge there are prone to being swayed here and there without having a firm foundation. This has increasingly become common nowdays with all kinds of heretical teachings finding their way in church. And yet of course they wouldn't flower within a knowledgeable church!

Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray that we as your people may desire and not forsake knowledge which starts with knowing you as our Lord and savoir, this I pray in Jesus name!

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    "And your life will be brighter than the noonday; it’s darkness will be like the morning. And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security”  (Job 11:17-19.)

    Philosophers and writers have long pointed out that without hope mankind would long be gone. The philosopher Victor Frankly who survived the Holocaust where he lost his entire family found hope was the most important weapon that enabled him come out alive. He wrote, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how!”
    
Hope can sustain any of us through the darkest of times. This is what happened to Job when he lost everything he possessed. “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face” (Job 13:15).

    King David when he was being pursued by his enemies never lost hope. “For you have been my hope, sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” (Psalm 71:5). The Apostle Paul who faced countless perilous times during his missionary journeys including jail and shipwrecks never lost hope. Writing to the Corinthians he reminded them, “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers” (2 Cor 1:10-11).

    As believers God has given us hope that our lives are not empty and meaningless, like so many others. He has given us the hope to carry us through the lowest of moments. “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:5).
    Today, may that hope that you have in Christ sustain you through whatever circumstances you may be facing.

    Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus that the hope I have in you lifts me up and sustains me in all situations as a conquer, in whose name I pray.

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