Tag: who are you?

Who are you?

Scripture reading for May 10th: 1st Samuel 28-29, 1st Chronicles 9, Acts 19

Acts 19: 13-17 “Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the Name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus Whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell on them all and the Name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.”

God was doing extraordinary miracles through Paul in Ephesus, many were being healed and delivered from evil spirits just through contact with aprons or handkerchiefs that had touched Paul’s body. Some sons of a chief priest named Sceva observed Paul’s use of the Name of Jesus and the resulting miracles. They tried to imitate Paul’s “formula” for success. The demonic spirit spoke to them in rebuke, the spirit knew Jesus, and recognized Paul the Apostle, but who were they? It is one thing to know about the Name of Jesus, but another to have authority to use Jesus’ Name in ministry to the afflicted and demonically oppressed! These impostors paid a price for their failure to know Jesus and received a beating to remember! Do the forces of Satan know who you are?

Acts 19:18-20 “Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who 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. So the Word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for adopting me into Your forever family and granting me the authority to ask in the Name of Jesus for needs of ministry and miraculous deliverance. I receive this authority by Your grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ. Use me as You will to see Your Word increase and prevail mightily in this time to Your glory!

1st Samuel 28:5-7 “When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.”

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Saul’s life-changing encounter!

Scripture reading for November 8th: Acts 8-9

In today’s reading we have the account of the conversion of one of the most influential people in the early days of the church.  The first 11 chapters of Acts are primarily centered around the life of Peter and his ministry to the Jews around Jerusalem.  Chapter 9 gives the account of Saul, a zealous Pharisee, who was a persecutor of the early church and was bent on protecting Judaism and eliminating disciples of Jesus.  He is spoken of first as one who gave approval of those who stoned Stephen. (Acts 8:1)  An encounter with Jesus is what Saul needed to radically change his world-view!

“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.  He went to the high priest and asked for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.  As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, Why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.  “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.  So get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:1-6

Saul had been hunting down disciples and as he traveled on a mission to Damascus, the Lord met him personally.  The light of glory threw Saul to the ground and blinded him.  Jesus asked him a simple question.  The question reveals that when anyone persecutes one of Jesus’ followers, He feels it personally!  Saul was also addressed by first name.  Jesus knows each person by name and knows where they are and what they are doing.

Thankfully, Saul repented during the period of blindness that lasted three days.  God sent a disciple named Ananias to lay hands on Saul to receive his sight back.  Ananias was initially afraid of Saul because of his reputation, but God revealed that Saul was His chosen instrument to reach the Gentiles.  (Acts 9:15-16) After he was healed and baptized, Saul began to preach the Gospel in the very synagogues that he had come initially to hunt Christians in!  What a difference an encounter with Jesus makes!

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