Day 29 - Concord Student Journey
Read Acts 19:1-22
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues[b] and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
17 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. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 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.[c] 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
21 After all this had happened, Paul decided[d] to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.
In Acts 19:1-22, we see Paul arriving in Ephesus and encountering some disciples who had not yet received the Holy Spirit. After teaching them and laying hands on them, they received the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues and prophesying. Paul then spent two years in Ephesus, preaching and performing miraculous signs, which led many people to repent and turn to God.
This passage reminds us of the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers. Just as these disciples were not fully equipped to live out their faith until they received the Holy Spirit, we too need the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us and enable us to live a life that honors God.
In addition, this passage highlights the power of God to work through His people to bring about change in the world. Paul's preaching and miracles in Ephesus led many people to repent and turn to God, and we too can be vessels of God's power and love in our own communities.
Have you fully embraced the power of the Holy Spirit in your life? What steps can you take to cultivate a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit?
In what ways can you be a vessel of God's power and love in your community? How can you use your gifts and talents to bring about change and point people to Christ?
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