Read This Week: Acts 19

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. – Acts 19:17-20 NIV

The society and environments that we exist in are full of variance, shiftiness, and fluctuation. Nothing is ever as it seems, and reliability on the people, circumstances, and institutions is at an all-time low. Doubt and uncertainty permeate our lives when it comes to everything from national events to relationships to daily activity. We all need and clamor for the things that leave no doubt and that we can base our lives on.

Uncertainty, confusion, and doubt seemed to be the order of the day in Ephesus. There was competing religious thought, Jewish and Greek influence, and even witchcraft and the dark arts. But Paul’s ministry was powerful in this region, and God was giving him opportunities to share the truth and the gospel. Everyone knew what Paul was saying and doing to the point that even his enemies had to admit it (19:26).

The ministry foundation laid by Paul in Ephesus led to some unbelievable events in Acts 19. God enabled him to perform special miracles, demonstrating His authority and power through the apostle in a place that the Enemy had gained a foothold. In this chapter, we see people practicing sorcery, a violent attack by a demon-possessed man, and others trying to perform exorcisms in Paul’s name. It was chaos and confusion caused by evil spirits and opposition to the Holy Spirit and the gospel message. 

If these people had succeeded and continued in their ways, it would have damaged the movement of Christianity and the name of Jesus. But God used His power to turn their own evil schemes around on them and not only defeat these forces but leave no doubt in who was supreme. Verses 17-18 say:

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.

Many of the believers who had been deceived by sorcery were convicted and confessed their involvement in it. The name of Jesus and the Word of God was held up in high esteem and because of this, it spread more rapidly and powerfully. Verses 19-20 say:

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.

This is an incredible example to the modern-day believer and follower of Jesus. There can’t be any variance in our devotion to God and His word; no room for indecision, noncommitment, and experimenting with the things of this world. In a society gone mad, the Christian must leave no doubt about who they base their life on, put their faith in, and give their allegiance to.     

7 Comments

  1. Kathy on February 26, 2021 at 11:07 am

    This is what God said to me in Acts 19. I want you to go deeper. Quit sipping where you can drink deeply into the power of My Holy Spirit. I want you to have a personal relationship with My Son Jesus. I don’t want you to know Him as the “Jesus the Pastor preaches”, but as the Jesus of your own salvation. You need My spiritual power against the evil in spiritual warfare. Put on My full armor.

    Many believers do not realize they are involved in demonic activity. I want you to renounce any connections you have, and confess them and turn to Me. I want them to be destroyed. (Books, images, computer files, statues, charms, and games) If you have a habit that defys your soul, get rid of it. Don’t encourage evil things to enter your mind. Instead, fill it with Me.

    What this said to me is I have to be careful with what I am putting in my mind. I need to put on the full armor of God, and fill my mind with things that are of Him, in worship, his word, and my activities. I need to be ready for battle.

    • Jason on March 3, 2021 at 2:28 pm

      This line really gripped me, Kathy: Quit sipping where you can drink deeply into the power of My Holy Spirit. I love this word picture of taking little sips out of the vast trough of God’s power that He actually wants us to drink deeply from.

      It is a profound image of how little we access the power and presence of God when He has given us full access to it all. Realizing and changing our approach to this could have an amazing and eternal impact on our lives and service.

  2. Alma Dolores Schmidt on February 27, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    God gave me a song this week out of Acts 19 called, “Seeking”:

    We are seeking, seeking
    We are seeking our God

    Learning, growing in his Spirit
    Come all, come all
    Our churches are like a hospital
    For the sinners, the brokenhearted, and the sick

    So come enjoy God’s love
    His healings and his wonderful miracles

    We are learning, growing, trusting in our Father
    He loves, guides, and shows us the way
    Let us seek, seek our heavenly father everyday. Amen.

    I personally know how much my life has changed because I have a relationship and I seek, talk, listen to my Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

    • Jason on March 3, 2021 at 2:50 pm

      I really appreciate your song this week, Alma. It captures the essence of what it means to seek God and leave no doubt about who we serve and worship. Your lyrics reminded me of the worship song from several years ago called, “The More I Seek You”:

      The more I seek you
      The more I find you
      The more I find you, the more I love you

      I wanna sit at your feet
      Drink from the cup in your hand
      Lay back against you and breathe, feel your heartbeat
      This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand
      I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming

      • Alma Dolores Schmidt on March 4, 2021 at 9:54 pm

        Thank you Jason That is one of my favorite
        Songs it brings tears to my eyes. Hope you
        have a blessed week.

  3. Heidi on March 1, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    We’re on a mission with God daily just like Paul and all those who are apart of what God is doing. Every day we’re learning and growing in the Lord. What matters is to remember today is a new day. Today, we get to make a difference in someone’s life.

    I heard God saying to me, “Today is a new day. Just like Paul faced a lot of opposition, he still continued on his mission to make a difference wherever he was. Focus on what you can do today and leave the rest to Me.” Thank you, God, for a new day!

    • Jason on March 3, 2021 at 3:12 pm

      This is such a hopeful and needed message, Heidi. I know that I benefited from being reminded about the promise of a new day and the blessing of seving the Lord. This part jumped out at me:

      Today is a new day. Just like Paul faced a lot of opposition, he still continued on his mission to make a difference wherever he was.

      Thank you for the reminder that God’s mercies are new every day and it presents us another opportunity to do life with Him and be on mission for His glory no matter what happened yesterday.

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