Bible Reference: Acts 19:16-20
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)
Bible Text: 16 The man who had the evil spirit in him attacked them with such violence that he overpowered them all. They ran away from his house, wounded and with their clothes torn off. 17All the Jews and Gentiles who lived in Ephesus heard about this; they were all filled with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was given greater honor. 18Many of the believers came, publicly admitting and revealing what they had done. 19Many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burnt them in public. They added up the price of the books, and the total came to 50,000 silver coins. 20In this powerful way the word of the Lord kept spreading and growing stronger.
OBSERVATION: Have you ever procrastinated, or waited enough that when you finally decided to take action, the object was no longer available to you? Often there are repercussions to waiting. Fortunately the Jews and Gentiles who witnessed the evil spirit in the man referenced in verse 16, had their eyes opened, and they realized that they were subject to such evil also, as long as they were separated from the Almighty. This caused them to commit themselves to the lordship of Jesus Christ, the only One with power to overcome the evil one. What will it take to open your eyes, or the eyes of your loved ones who have waited and waited before accepting Jesus?
APPLICATION: It seems miraculous how God got to the masses at Ephesus! I say ‘masses’ because we are told that many practiced witchcraft and sorcery. I’m sure that God was mightily using His servant Paul, but He also used a situation that actually involved a few of their own wicked bunch to get through to the people. In our focal verses we read where God brought great fear among the people by intensifying a situation between the wicked and the pretenders who tried to mimic Paul’s ministry. I find it so amazing, that in spite of all that God did at Calvary for us, yet He will still use scenarios that really affect our lives to get our attention and bring us to our senses. Oh, how He loves us! I know of situations where, through death of a loved one, a relative gave his heart to the Lord. Likewise, you may know of situations where others came to the Lord through war, or automobile accidents, etc. Friends, why do we need tragedy to bring us to our knees? God is still God, whether we are on a mountain top scenario, or whether we are at the very bottom because of a tragedy. What will it take to get your attention friend? Jesus showed great love for us on the cross. Let us recognize His goodness daily and allow Him preeminence over every aspect of our lives. When we do this, we prepare our hearts for the tough times, in that we know that our Master will be victorious even through those times. To those meditating on this today that have not yet accepted Jesus as Lord, please make this a day of salvation for yourself. Just as building muscle will help you withstand injury in a fall or other serious impact to the body, knowing Jesus will give you the calm assurance in good and bad times, that regardless of the outcome of a situation, you are assured, and have peace about your eternal destination. Just as we are told in verse 20 that the work of the Lord grew stronger, I want to remind you that when you surrender your life to Jesus, He will find ways to use your witness to also grow His work among your unsaved loved ones, for the ultimate glory of the Almighty God. Please don’t wait for God to use an unfortunate disaster in your life or the life of a loved one, for Him to bring you to your knees. He loves you enough that He would do anything to get through to you, so give your heart to Him willingly and not under due rest, please?
PRAYER: Dear God, in Your precious name I want to ask that You again tender the hearts of my loved ones that don’t yet know You in a personal and intimate way. Please cause their hearts to look up to You in surrender and then plead forgiveness of their sin. Please may it be enough that they be stirred in their spirit to surrender, without having to use drastic measures to get their attention. Lord, may I have that same urgency today in sharing Your love with someone who needs that final word of encouragement before making this vital decision. Please bless in wonderful ways today, is my humble prayer made in Your most holy name, AMEN!