Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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A Useful Word about the Useful Word
by Tom Goodman
January 26, 2011

In the film Castaway, Tom Hanks played the lone survivor of a FedEx jet crash marooned on a deserted island in the south Pacific.  A few packages from the jet washed up on the shore with the castaway, and he opened them in hopes of finding something that would help him survive.  When he came to the last package, though, he chose to keep it intact.  His determination to eventually deliver that package to its owner was his thin connection to the hope of rescue.  In fact, the film ended with the delivered castaway delivering that package to its recipient five years later.

During Super Bowl XXXVII, FedEx ran a commercial that spoofed the movie.  In the send-up, after the FedEx employee delivered the package he had protected for so long, curiosity got the best of him.  "Excuse me," he asked the recipient, "what was in that package after all?"

She opened it and showed him the contents, saying, "Oh, nothing really.  Just a satellite telephone, a global positioning device, a compass, a water purifier, and some seeds."

No doubt, those items would have been useful to a man stranded on a deserted island!  In the same way, God has provided many practical things in the Bible, but many of us discover the value of its contents only after years of trying to make life work on our own terms.  If you want to benefit from the Bible's practical content, there are three things you should do.

Read it.  As you consistently read Scripture your understanding will grow.

Think about it.  God will help us understand Scripture as we engage in meditation, reflection, and study.

Live it.  We profit from the Bible's practical content by putting it into practice.

This Sunday we'll examine these actions in more detail . According to Acts 17, the Apostle Paul encountered two groups of people.  In Thessalonica, the people didn't want to hear his Bible teaching and ran him out of town.  But in Berea, according to verse 11, "the people 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."

Join us @ 10 this Sunday as we study the reactions from these two towns and commit to be "open-minded" and to "search the Scriptures" like the Bereans!


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