Not every military installation is fortunate enough to sponsor a PWOC group, but wherever you go, commit yourself to living like a Berean
The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:10–11)
One of the unexpected blessings of military life for me has been the discovery of a unique women’s ministry. Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) is a military chapel sponsored ministry with the goals of leading women to Christ, teaching women the Word of God, developing spiritual gifts in women, and involving women in chapel ministry. My association with PWOC began during our first assignment, and many years later, the ties are still strong.
When our family arrived at each new duty station, one of the first things I did was search for a PWOC chapter. I knew I would find sisters in Christ who were eager to study God’s Word. My deepest friendships were nurtured through participation in PWOC. Most importantly, my relationship with the Lord grew as women challenged me to go deeper with God. We dropped rank, ethnicity, and denominational differences at the door. Our common love for Jesus bound us together.
Paul’s encounter with the Bereans reminds me of my encounter with PWOC. The Scripture passage describes this group as noble, eager, and committed. They were noble, not because of their birth, but because of their willingness to learn. Their willingness resulted in an eagerness to study God’s Word and hear from him.1 Paul arrived in Berea on the heels of some jealous Jews who wanted him out of Thessalonica.
On the one hand, it must have been refreshing to arrive in Berea and meet people who did not care about social status. On the other hand, they did not accept Paul’s teaching without question. They tested and confirmed Paul’s message with the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament) and prophecies. The Bereans eagerly awaited the Messiah. When they heard Paul’s message, they wanted to receive it but also made sure to verify his words.
Not every military installation is fortunate enough to sponsor a PWOC group, but wherever you go, commit yourself to living like a Berean. Make sure that what you read and what others teach you lines up with the Scriptures, and associate with those who have a hunger for God’s Word.
How are you living like a Berean? How can studying God’s Word with others help you adjust to a new duty station?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, increase my love for your Word. Give me a spirit of discernment to test the teaching I hear. Protect me from false teaching and foolish doctrine. Amen.
1 Ajith Fernando, NIV Application Commentary: Acts (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 411.