Thursday, June 7, 2012

Acts 19:15-20

Summary retelling of Acts 19:15-20

One evil spirit answered the seven sons of Sceva one day.  The spirit basically says, “Jesus I know and Paul I am familiar with.  But who do you think that you are?”  The man with the spirit turned on the sevens sons and beat them up pretty badly.  Because of this story, people grew in fear and awe of the name of Jesus.  This incident also brought forth many believers who were secretly doing other things to come and confess their practices and so turn fully to God.  They turned in magic talismans, instruments, and books.  The name of the Lord spread throughout the region of Ephesus.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
The evil spirit turns on the seven sons of Sceva.  Let this be a lesson to us.  Just because we are on the side of God does not mean that we are untouchable by the power of the enemy.  Satan’s power is real and significant.  We should never underestimate the enemy.

Do you have a tendency to forget about the power of Satan and the world?  Do you think the subtleness of the world has anything to do with it?  In which areas are you the most vulnerable to spiritual, emotional, or physical attack?

Second Thought:
The message of the demon is clear.  The power of Jesus is known to him.  Paul was known to be in the power of Jesus.  But the seven sons of Sceva were using the name without belief.  In other words, they were trying to cast out the demon on their own power rather than being humble and letting God’s power be on display.  There was no genuine spirituality in them.  The demon laughed at their so-called power and gave them an absolute thrashing.

How does this story help you understand why it is so important to be humble before God?  How does this story reinforce that we are supposed to be about God’s work and not our own work?

Third Thought:
The people who hear about the incident of the seven sons of Sceva have a wake-up call.  They begin to take their spirituality seriously.  They figure out that they cannot compromise with God any longer.  They turn aside from all of their compromised faiths and pick up a genuine faith in God alone. They commit their lives fully to God.

Why is it important to have relationships with other people from whom we can learn?  Are you fully committed to God?  What areas in your life might you still need to give up?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 19:21-27
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