Acts 19

Day 19, Acts 19.

 

Paul came to Ephesus and fond some disciples who had not yet received the Holy Spirit, nor had they been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. So Paul baptized them in the name of the Lord and then laid his hands upon them and the Holy Spirit came on them.

He reasoned and persuaded the Jews in the synagogue for three months. But then some became hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way. Then he took the disciples and went to the school of Tyrannus where he reasoned for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, to the point where people were healed and evil spirits were driven out of people when even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched Paul’s body were taken to the  sick.

But some tried to mimic or use the power that filled Paul without having the least idea of how to do it.

13 But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

The exorcists tried to use the name of Jesus like a magical incantation, trying to drive out demons using the name of Christ. But the demons knew of Christ and Paul but did not recognize the exorcists. People today doubt whether God or demons exist, yet they gravitate to angels.  People want to use God like a magical genie, or use the name of Christ to end a prayer to try to ensure what they ask comes true – without actually having the power of God within them. I pray God dwells within us so we are filled with the power of God.

 17 This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived inEphesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. 18 Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices.19 And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousandpieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.

Because of the lack of power of the exorcists, the name of the Lord Jesus grew. Not only that, but those who believed confessed their sins publicly – showing the power of God working in them. They gathered together their books of magic and burned them publicly – 50,000 pieces of silver worth! May God help us all to confess our sins and burn our implements of sin.

About that time, a silversmith in Ephesus got upset with the believers. The believers were endangering their livelihood and their religion. When you mess with someone’s religion, they get upset. When you mess with someone’s money, they get upset. When you mess with both, watch out! The riot got so out of hand that the town clerk stepped up and warned the people they were in danger of being accused by the Romans of rioting – which no one wanted to have to deal with.

I pray God helps us turn to Him and share the truth in bold ways, trusting God for the results. May we be filled with the Holy Spirit and may His love and power flow from us.

 

 

 

 

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