Pastor Wrinkles: House On Fire Pt. 43

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

 

I am so blessed by those of you who have been jumping on board with the biblical discussion posts I have been shooting out into the blogosphere. It is just so wonderful to hear what God is speaking into the lives of so many of His servants. It is even more wonderful to hear that His Spirit has been saying some common things to many of us.

If you want an opportunity to jump in on any of this week’s discussions you can join the dialogues at

https://josephelonlillie.com/2014/03/12/the-born-again-experience/

Or

https://josephelonlillie.com/2014/03/11/turbo-follow-week-5/

Now here is today’s discussion starter on the Book of Acts:

Paul Ministers in Ephesus- Acts 19:8-22

8 Then Paul went to the synagogue and preached boldly for the next three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God. 9 But some became stubborn, rejecting his message and publicly speaking against the Way. So Paul left the synagogue and took the believers with him. Then he held daily discussions at the lecture hall of Tyrannus.10 This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the word of the Lord.

11 God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. 12 When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled.

13 A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. 15 But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.

17 The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored. 18 Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. 19 A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars. 20 So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect.

21 Afterward Paul felt compelled by the Spirit to go over to Macedonia and Achaia before going to Jerusalem. “And after that,” he said, “I must go on to Rome!” 22 He sent his two assistants, Timothy and Erastus, ahead to Macedonia while he stayed awhile longer in the province of Asia.

This part of Paul’s journey is long. Almost two and a half years are spent in Ephesus.

What have you done in the last two and a half years? 

What events preceded Paul’s decision to move on?

Do you think they had any bearing on Paul’s decision to move on?

How does the Spirit confirm His messages through life events?

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10 thoughts on “Pastor Wrinkles: House On Fire Pt. 43

  1. Once my semester starts, my blogging time diminishes. For the past two-and-a-half years, we were deciding where to live. We sold our home four years ago, moved to Philly so my husband could get a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies, and then started deciding where to live. We moved to be near our daughter and grandchildren about six months ago. This move has also allowed me to reconnect with a really good friend.

    Immediately before Paul moved on, God’s Word was recognized as Truth, people believed, and His Word spread – “The Word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily” (ESV, Acts 19:20). This resulted after the sons of Sceva were using Jesus’s name without believing. Basically, they were called out by a demon. When others heard that, they became afraid and the power of Jesus’s name was recognized (Acts 19:13-19). God worked miracles through Paul. God condemned the practice of sorcery and magic through the sons of Sceva.

    As a missionary, Paul had spread the Word of God, and people believed in the Gospel of Christ. I think this did affect his moving on. He wanted to continue his missionary work in Rome. It is actually God who directs Paul: “Now after these events, Paul resolved in the Spirit…I must also see Rome” (Acts 19:21).

    I think the Spirit of God works through His Word. I’m not saying that God doesn’t work through life events. I know that He does, particularly in our service to others. However, I do not rely on my feelings about life’s events and interpret them as God’s confirmation or condemnation. I know His Word is Truth, so it is reliable. I think when the Spirit is at work, the Word of God is being spread and people serve one another in Christ.

    • This is good stuff Robin. I think you are right we have to be careful in making to much of life’s circumstances as God’s will. Sometimes the circumstances of life have to be stood against rather than given into. The Word of God is our ultimate guide book.
      I do wonder though if one of the things that allowed Paul to feel comfortable to move on was the fact that he saw the church had grown to a place in maturity where it could be left in the hands of trustworthy fellow laborers. I wonder if that was part of the Spirit’s direction to Paul.

      • The church had grown in the two and a half years Paul was there teaching. It was mature as a church can be in that short period of time. I do think Paul felt he could leave it in the hands of those he had discipled. There is a reference to Priscilla and Aquila being in Ephesus at the end of Chapter 18. And there are the twelve men that Paul laid hands on at the beginning of Chapter 19. There were definitely believers who were strong enough to stand up against what happens next…the riot in Ephesus.

      • A very good observation Robin. I think you are right Paul knew He could move on because the Holy Spirit spoke it to his heart but a part of the decision certainly came from the fact that Paul saw the church was developed enough to stand. I think even the riot itself was used to show Paul the mettle of the church and calm his heart about the readiness of the believers in the city to stand for Jesus!

  2. God has used me so much in these last two and a half years to witness to so many. Many more than I ever thought possible not to mention the unquenchable thirst for Him. It’s been AWESOME! I think the fact that the Church was growing so fast as well as the public burning of the incantation books is what convinced Paul that there was a solid foundation for future converts so he could then move on. I believe the Spirit confirms his message through the scriptures. That’s why when I am reading the Word and the scriptures are jumping off the page at me it’s like God wrote that verse just for me!

    • It does show us that our Christian lives are a forward and upward progression of spirituality doesn’t it. Paul could have settled down as things started to go well in Ephesus but as Robin pointed out he knew God had not called him to sit and soak but to move forth and equip.
      I often wonder how this applies to our own spiritual walks.

  3. For the past 2 and a half years, I have been through many fiery trials, falling down, and getting back up. Sometimes I could’ve been referred to as the “dog returning to his own vomit” in some ways. But, I saw the Lord continue to love me, restore me, and invite me to be with Him again and again. The really cool part is that even though I have heard many of these scriptures preached more than once over the years, the revelation in them is brand new every single time.
    I like that in this passage, there is a powerful correlation between the name of Jesus, and also the fact that those who serve Him are entitled to that same power. “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” That shows me that all the demons in hell know who we are THROUGH CHRIST, and that even the most powerful sourcerors of the day were so moved that they started burning their books. Sometimes throughout my life, I think I merely lost sight of the kind of power over circumstances, and all the works of the enemy that I have access to because of who my father (Jesus) is. The more the Lord and I walk together and I am reminded about who I am in Christ, the more that there is no hurt, no addiction, no feeling of rejection, and no sickness that can stay a part of my life. That..kinda makes me wanna shout!

    • Then shout brother! You are so right the power to make the world and even that old serpent the devil sit up and take notice resides within us as long as we are continually cultivating a relationship with Jesus. Our personal relationship with Jesus is the key to victorious living.

      • I find that to be true every single day, in some ways its like the fastest internet connection there is. Like streaming a video, but only its’ guaranteed not to lag as long as our relationship doesn’t get stagnant.

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