I am awe struck with the wonder of God’s love. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). His Son was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8). God’s great love was manifested in the world through His only begotten Son, whom He unselfishly sacrificed for the salvation of humanity.
Today, the redeemed love God because He first loved them (I John 4:19). It is without a doubt, after you fall in love with God, you fall in love with His word. The psalmist said, “Thy word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against thee (Psalm 119:12). Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (vs. 105). When Jesus asked the twelve disciples if they would leave him as others did, Simon Peter answered him saying, “Lord to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (St. John 6:67-69).
God’s word is essential in our lives. It has transforming power in itself. Jesus told his disciples that they were clean through the word which he spoke unto them (John 15:3). And he promised them that if they would abide in him and he in them, they could ask whatever they wanted and he would give it to them (John 15:7).
God’s word is extremely valuable to us today. Good health, wealth, prosperity, healing, correction, direction, and eternal life are promised to the believer through God’s word. When you truly love God, you truly love his word. You develop a longing and a thirst for it. You are automatically drawn to it.
The people in Berea are wonderful examples for us today. They listened to preachers and teachers expound on the Scriptures. However, they searched the Scriptures for themselves. After hearing the word, they received the word with readiness of mind and they searched the Scriptures daily to see whether those things were so. As a result, many of them believed, also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few (Acts 17:10—12). Berea was beyond the coastline (an extreme end). The Bereans exercised their minds; they stretched and extended their thinking. They meditated on God’s word through daily search of those things that they had heard.
The word translated “examine” (Gk. Anakrino) means to stir up and down, make careful and exact research. The preaching and teaching of God’s word should encourage the study of it. Teaching of all doctrine should be examined according to the word of God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
I am excited to officially announce the birth of a new ministry in the Harrisburg and surrounding areas—the Church of the Living God Berean School of Ministry. This indeed is a wonderful door of opportunity for all who love God’s word. As Campus Director, let me take this opportunity to welcome people of all faith, ethnic background, and nations to come and be a part of this great, explosive ministry that God has brought to the Harrisburg and surrounding areas.
May God richly bless you continually.
Gratefully in Christ,
Bishop Ivy A. Hopkins, M.C.M.