Daily Devotional

Lessons from Acts 19 

Acts 19 can be described as "a microcosm of ministry." The apostle Paul is in the City of Ephesus, one of the  pagan capitals of the ancient world. He spends over two years equipping believers to walk in the power of the Spirit (vv.1-7), preaching the Gospel and healing the sick and oppressed (vv. 8-12).

In typical fashion, he faces opposition from demon-possessed charlatans, trying to imitate the power of  God (vv. 13-16). Yet, in the midst of opposition a mini-revival breaks out as some people give up their evil practices (vv. 17-20). It is a wonderful  moment in church history.      

However, like too many revivals, it is short-lived. Paul, the missionary-evangelist, moves on (vv. 21-22),  leaving the city in the hands of the believers there. Sadly, the local church was too easily  sidetracked with internal issues (Read Ephesians). No wonder the prevailing paganism kept raising its ugly head, resulting in chaos and confusion (vv. 23ff). There are no quick fixes. The local church in Ephesus needs to continue its focused battle FOR souls  and AGAINST evil—until Christ, not Paul or any missionary-evangelist, returns.      

The same is true where we live. Let’s strive to walk in the power of the Spirit, praying for LASTING revival  in our midst. Let’s not get distracted by non-essentials, as the world’s twisted values creep into Christ’s Church. Let’s fight FOR souls and AGAINST evil. Let’s stop relying on others to do what the Spirit commands US to do. The apostle Paul has moved on.  The baton has been passed to us:  

 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance  and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
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