Check out all the previous Acts readings here.
Acts Reading Plan | Week 14 | Day 4
Take a moment to be silent and still. In order to be fully present in body and mind, take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Do this three times.
Revelation 5, we’re told the angels in heaven sing: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” As you come to spend time with Jesus, you might echo their song and pray, “Worthy are you Jesus, who died on my behalf, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! May my words and actions bring you honor today!”
Bible Reading: Acts 19:11-22
Read these verses three times slowly.
God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” He sent two of his helpers,Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.
Reflection & Questions
There are some pretty funny stories in Acts, and today is one of them. Some brothers see Paul casting out demons, and they decide to give it a go (as if it was some Harry Potter technique to practice). You’ve got to chuckle at the evil spirit’s retort: “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” This evil spirit is no respecter of posers. In fact, the spirit gives them a beating and they walk away with their tails between their legs.
This story, as funny as it is, serves the purpose of spreading the gospel in a spiritually dark place. We’re told the people of Ephesus were “seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.” And it leads to amazing actions like burning of sorcerers’ scrolls, which cost something like $6million in today’s money.
Two days ago we read how our gospel can be proven; it can be defended intellectually. Skeptics who are truly seeking can become convinced. Today, we read how our gospel is truly powerful. And those who are lost in evil can be freed to know the true Power – to hold Jesus in high honor. Our gospel is provable and powerful. No wonder it has spread throughout the world!
- Do you hold Jesus in high honor? How do you know?
- Who do you know that is lost in “spiritual things”? What step could you take to reach them with Jesus?
Talk to God in response to today’s reading.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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