Monday, June 22, 2009

Reading Challenge: Acts 19-20

Welcome back everyone. We continue the Acts Reading Challenge today. I'm in Gulf Shores staring at the beach. It is neat to get a perspective of the Scriptures being out of your normal context.

Todays reading is from Acts 19-20

Chapter 19:
I love a couple of parts in this chapter. The first one is when Paul arrives in Ephesus and begins talking about the Holy Spirit and the believers there do not know what that is. They were still operating under the baptism of John for the repentance of sin. It is probably because I'm in a different place, but I imagine this being like me showing up here and going to a church and the people not having the Scriptures or not have known about baptism. I think it is interesting to think about what this must have been like for Paul and his traveling companions as they never knew what they would encounter in each city they arrived in.

The other part of the story that is eye-opening is when some followers of Jesus cast demons out of the man in the name of Jesus, that preaches of. The funny thing is, the demons say we know Jesus and Paul, but who are you, then they put a beat down on the people. A couple of things stand out: first, messing around in the business of casting out demons comes with some responsibility. Second, if you're not in the right place spiritually, messing around with demonic things will get you beat up. 

For space purposes I'm going to leave Chapter 20 for others to talk about. What stood out to you from these passages?


  1. Chapter 19 Verses 18-20 stand out to me. When those new believers or perhaps even some who had believed earlier through the testimony of others....they began disclosing their sin of practicing things not of God...."So the word of the Lord was growing mightly and prevailing."

    Amazing things happens in our lives when we put down practices that are not of God.

    Reminds me of the days that young Christians were burning records and witchcraft types things that were in their lives in the mid and late 70's. Churches actually had bon-fires and many confess and turned from things that were not of God. The whole demeaner of those Youth groups and indivudal changed churches!!

    I love long winded those that aren't listening can fall off their secure perch....and then be raised from their spiritual deadness.. :o) :o) :o) ;o)

  2. Hey, isn't there a story in the gospels where the disciples are seeing Jesus casting out demons and healing people and they think that because they are the chosen 12they can do the same things and when they try it, they fail and then Jesus had to explain why they were unable to perform it? And if I remember Jeus response he said it required much prayer.
    I have studied the occult some years ago and it is very interesting but oppressive.Satan is very real and it's not like tv.
    The pharisees asked Jesus once by what authority he performed his miracles.Of course he never answered them, but Satan doesn't respect or fear us.We can't take him on by ourselves and these disciples that tried learned quickly that the real source of power comes from the Holy Spirit. And the only time and reason the Holy spirit works in our lives is to give all the glory to God. So, that tells me these disciples were not operating in the power of the Holy Spirit nor were they seeking to give the glory to God;they wanted for themselves.
    Bro. James, I remember the burnings.Of course I was a good girl then and had nothing to throw into the fire. Lots of Cult music went up in flames!

  3. When the folks in Ephesus don't know about the Holy Spirit, that makes me think of Americans today. The only difference now is people are not very honest with themselves on the subject.

  4. The riot in Ephesus shows so many cool things going on in that city. How much like the world today were the people of Ephesus who shouted praises to a god that they really don't know? It says most didn't even know why they were shouting, but nevertheless " they all shouted in unison for about two hours: 'Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!'"

    What would it take for those of us who KNOW the God we worship to shout his praises for two hours straight? To be able to incite a crowd into a passionate frenzy in defense of his Holy righteousness?

    Say what we may about the people in Ephesus, the stood up for their that respect I wish America was more like Ephesus, just passionate about the REAL God!

  5. By the way, top 3 things you never want to hear demons tell you when you are trying to cast them out:

    3. "Ha ha, I can see under your toga."

    2. "Smoke and mirrors? We don't need no stinking smoke and mirrors?"

    And the number one thing you never want to hear demons tell you when you are trying to cast them out...

    "Jesus I know, Paul I know but YOU, I have never heard of"