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Daily Devotional: Wednesday 27th May

by William Moody

Acts 19:8–16

And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus.1 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

The Sons of Sceva

11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all2 of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Footnotes

[1] 19:9 Some manuscripts add from the fifth hour to the tenth (that is, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
[2] 19:16 Or both

(ESV)

Paul teaches in the synagogue for three months (v8). There then develops the common pattern; opposition comes from the Jews and Paul leaves to minister elsewhere, this time in the lecture hall of Tyrannus (v9-10).

We see here a great hunger for God’s word. Paul teaches daily for two years in this hall. Let’s pray for such a hunger in our lives and in the lives of others. There is something wrong when believers only want to be taught once a week on a Sunday.

Wonderful miracles were happening as well (v11-12). This led to some trying to copy what Paul was doing (v13-16). The problem here was that these Jews were trying to exercise religious power without knowing Christ and having a personal relationship with Jesus.

They were those who had a form of godliness but were denying its power (2 Timothy 3 v5). In an evil world we can only stand form when we are in Christ through salvation and walking with Him daily.

In serving within the church we need to be so careful to protect our relationship and daily walk with Christ, if we don’t our lives will be powerless and joyless. Duncan Campbell when he came to the island of Lewis was asked immediately by the elders, “Mr Campbell, are you walking with God?”

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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