Today’s Verse, Acts 19:20
Monday, January 15, 2018
So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
Reflections on Today’s Verse
The Gospel changes everything, including societies.
In today’s story, Paul is in Ephesus and has moved from the synagogue to the Hall of Tyrannus because of opposition to his message. Satan has made an aborted attempt to destroy the Gospel. Paul plans to go to Macedonia and Achaia to bring relief to the famine victims in Jerusalem. Paul has sent off Timothy and Erastus to prepare for his visit, but he stayed in Asia for a while. So, he is still ministering in Ephesus.
Back to our opening statement: When the Gospel is received into a community, it affects the whole culture! This includes economic, social, political values, and ideals. Just as you and I are changed supernaturally when we truly come to be born again (see John 3), so does a community. Here in Ephesus we have the results of what happens when a community accepts the Gospel there will be fundamental changes economically, socially, and politically!
As in Ephesus, there will be job losses in some industries. Those industries that are based on what Christians no longer want. Products that have an immoral or non-Christian content will have little demand. People will be ashamed to purchase them. TV programs will alter, as will the sale of DVDs, lyrics in music, film producers and publishers will generate different material, drink industries, casinos, and gambling dens will dwindle. Socially, marriages will be secured. The Gospel will have an effect on the whole community (or nation), just as it does, to some degree at least, in true believers—all because of God’s power (Romans 1:16).
As we draw closer to God through His Son Jesus Christ, we are blessed with joy, peace, and a purpose for life. The psalmist was right when he wrote, “Taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8). When seeking God is our number one priority, the hunger in our lives to please Him intensifies. The aftertaste of time with God never completely satisfies us—we always long for more of Him.
But sometimes we have to deal with the nastiness of Satan. The devil loves to promote his favorite dishes of anger, resentment, doubt, fear, and trouble. One bite of his food might taste good at first, but like our least favorite foods, it has a nasty aftertaste. This is because Satan wants our focus to be on the temporal and not the eternal. If he can get us to bite into one his lies, then he has already poisoned our mind.
Perhaps Satan’s biggest lie is that we ought to be ashamed of Jesus Christ. He would have us do nothing else than deny Jesus by our lifestyle. So don’t be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the best news that the world has ever known! And be confident in the power of the Gospel, for it’s the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith because it brings with it a righteousness that only God can give. Standing by the power of the Gospel is the most tasteful decision you can ever make.
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Father, let your Word grow, grow, and grow again in our hearts, our churches, our neighbourhoods, our country, and anywhere it is not spoken or spread. We pray for pastors to speak forth your Word boldly, as well as anyone who sits in the pew that knows you. Only your Word can save those lost in their sin. Father, thank you that your Word cuts down deep to show us all we need to know Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.