I’ve chosen “The New Inductive Study Bible – Discovering the Truth for Yourself” (NASB) to do my daily Bible reading. It’s a unique way of studying the Bible because before every book, you are given a great deal of information to seek after and observe along with questions to answer. You make many markings in the margins as you read. For example, when you come across a location, you double-underline it with a green pen and then locate it on a map. When there is a period of time passing, you draw a small clock in the margin.
The part of this Bible study that has intrigued me the most, is the list of words you are given with each book to find and highlight in orange.
I’m currently reading in the book of Acts and some of the words to highlight include: Synagoge, faith, believe, disciple, baptism, and any reference to persecution to name a few.
The word that has stuck out to me, is the word, believe. It seems the entire challenge for Peter, the Apostles, and all the new disciples in Acts is to persuade people to believe this new story of this man named Jesus. And it proves to be no easy task. In fact, it’s a mission that leads to not only persecution, but death threats, riots, and murder!
Many times Paul and his companions arrive at a city, enter the Synagogue or town square to share their message, only to learn that the people already have some very strong beliefs of their own ingrained in the heads. The challenge then is to undo the lies that they believe and replace them with the truth. Again, a very dangerous undertaking. People hold tightly to their beliefs whether they are true or not!
Nonetheless, the message of the gospel, believing in Jesus as Lord and Christ (the anointed one or coming Messiah) slowly takes root and the church is birthed out of “unschooled, ordinary men.” This same movement of which we are part of today still grows. In fact, our leader said, “even the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
Believing in something or someone is powerful. Belief is the seed that has the power to change lives and forge futures. What we chose to believe, is prime. Even in Christianity, we are warned, there will come many false prophets and deceivers trying to tempt people away from the truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Be careful where you place your belief. The world is still full of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Bible verses referenced: Acts 4:10-12; Acts 4:13; Acts 7:54-60; Acts 19:28-35; Matthew 16:17-19; Matthew 7:15