Good morning:

Last fall I wanted to sell a car, and several prospective buyers came to see it. They looked at the color, inspected the paint for chips, and checked out the climate controls and entertainment system. Eventually, though, they all wanted to look under the hood. It’s something we ordinarily don’t see or even think about too much, but without a functioning engine, a car isn’t worth much.

Not many of us would buy a car simply because it’s red and has a body style we like. That would be a foolish and superficial approach. Yet in many other aspects of life, don’t we often do just that? Our world makes a big deal of the superficial. Someone may become a social media phenomenon simply because of their persona, rather than any noteworthy accomplishment. We can find ourselves swept along with that same wave of admiration for what’s trending at the moment.

When it comes to what we believe and the course we follow, it’s important to always look under the hood, rather than take a quick glance at the superficial. It’s especially critical in spiritual matters. Paul advised the young pastor Timothy: “Preach the word…with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Tim. 4:2-3).

In our fast-paced, Twitter-feed culture where we don’t focus on something for more than a few seconds, it’s tempting to do the same with matters of the soul. If it sounds good on the surface, it must be OK. If God and Jesus are mentioned, there’s nothing to be concerned about. But look under the hood. That’s what the Bereans did when Paul preached. “They received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11).

Jesus says, “Search the Scriptures; they testify about me.” May we never grow tired of searching the depths of God’s Word at home and together at church. May it always lead us to see Jesus as our Lord and His cross as the place where He offered Himself as the full payment for sin. It is at the cross alone that we find forgiveness, peace, and life eternal. May the Spirit bless your meditation on the Word today and our worship tomorrow.

Yours in Christ,

Services tomorrow are at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. Holy Communion will be celebrated at both services. Sunday school is at 9:15 a.m. and adult Bible class at 9:30 a.m. The Bible class will continue the study of “Ten Lies About God.” Tomorrow’s topic is: “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves.”

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