It’s in the heart that considers Him to be worthy of further discovery that belief in a single exposure to His truth grows from conception to full term.
Acts 17:11-12 (NIV)
11 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. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
Belief is the basis for everything in a relationship with God. There are times when there is a senses-based experience that enhances an ability to believe. The parents of Samson were able to believe the man who spoke with them was the angel of God after He ascended in the flame of their fire and disappeared. Jesus went about doing miracles and healing everyone with the purpose of enabling their belief in Him. For the vast majority of people, however, belief in an unseen and unfelt God comes with the simple reception of His truth - the gospel of His love demonstrated in Jesus and His will revealed in His Word. Whether by an experience of the senses or exposure to the truth, however, it isn’t until the heart actually moves into a state of belief that a relationship with God is enabled and empowered.
With the Berean Jews there must have been a culture of healthy skepticism, where they were willing and desirous to believe something if it could be supported with valid information. They didn’t just lazily proclaim a dishonest belief in Jesus that hadn’t gone through a true heart-transformation to belief. The 12th verse indicates that, while many did, that some must have failed to make that transition. For the many that did, however, it was because their reception of Paul’s truth went way beyond just a one-time hearing of His message. It was in their searching of the scriptures for themselves that their hearts were able to fully receive the truth and enter into a relationship with their Redeemer.
With every gathering to worship and receive of the Word, there is a presentation of truth from the heart of God that has potential of heart transformation into powerful, relationship building belief. Though available for all present in the gathering, according to the examples given in the Word, not everyone will enter into belief as a result of this encounter. But, the potential for true belief is increased exponentially for those who don’t just give a less-than-half-hearted nod to the truth, but take it home to further validate and verify it. It’s in the heart that considers Him to be worthy of further discovery that belief in a single exposure to His truth grows from conception to full term.