Filled with Jesus, Emptied of Everything Else

17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.

21 Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.

Acts 19:17–22 ESV Read More

After everyone heard about the beating of the sons of Sceva, they began to take the name of Jesus (and maybe Paul) even more seriously. It’s easy to swing the pendulum away from all of the old-time preachers yelling fire and brimstone and forget the dread of Jesus. He’s not a good-guy to everyone.

He told us to love our enemies because he knows how moody we are. We judge people by how they look at us, how clean their hair is, or how big of a bonus we got at work last week. We are terrible judges. But Jesus looks at the heart and soul of every person. He knows which sins come out of weakness and hurt and which ones come out of rebellion and faithlessness. He knows those who trust in His name, regardless of their actions.

It’s good to be reminded that we shouldn’t always be “all-matey with the Almighty” as Alister Begg put it.

The people of Ephesus confessed and divulged their practices because they knew that Jesus had power and so did the demons. They saw what happened if you tried to play on both teams at the same time and not take Jesus seriously.

In some denominations, before your baptism, you say “I renounce Satan and all of his works.” That’s powerful! It’s easy to say “I want to follow Jesus,” but at the same time we must say “I renounce Satan and all of his works.” Sometimes I feel like I have to declare that multiple times a day!

The wizards of Ephesus did it. It cost them fifty thousand pieces of silver. One piece of silver equaled a day’s pay. That adds up to about $6,000,000 in today’s economy.

I don’t want to do the hard sell here, but Jesus is worth it. He’s worth every single thing that we would give up or trash to grow closer to Him.

And with this Ephesian revival going on, Paul thought it was a good time to leave. This was a sign of self-sustaining growth of the church in Ephesus. Not only did they take Jesus fully into their lives, but they got all of the devil’s garbage out.

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