Acts 19:1-20; Judges 10:1-11:33; Job 39
Paul had fulfilled his vow. He went back on the road and came to Ephesus where he set up his base and preached for 2 years. This base allowed him to reach all of Asia. Not only did his preaching bear fruit but the Bible says that God worked some “unusual” miracles through Paul. Miracles tend to catch people’s attention and a few people tried to study just what it was that Paul said or did that caused these miracles. They wanted in on this miracle thing too. “Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, ‘We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.’ …And the evil spirit answered and said, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’ Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them…” (Acts 19:13,15-16) These people saw the power in the name of Jesus and thought they would gain power by saying the right words and invoking the name of Jesus without having a relationship with Him. They had disastrous results! The key to the miracles performed through Paul is not that he used the right words. The key is that he had a relationship with Jesus. When miracles happened, Paul knew that he was not the power. The power came from God. Those exorcists unwittingly used God’s name in vain and suffered. How often do we use the name of Jesus in vain? How often do we take God’s name and use it flippantly? The name of Jesus is powerful because it represents the whole person of Jesus. When we use that name, we remember that He was involved in Creation. We remember that He came to Earth and walked among us. We remember His crucifixion and resurrection. We are looking forward to his coming again. Most importantly, we are speaking of God who became man and developed a relationship with any of His people who would seek Him. Jesus is the name above all other names and the name at which all knees shall bow. The power in that name comes when we use it as His child in His way.
Dear Jesus, How I love you! How I appreciate all that You did for me as You died on the cross to bring forgiveness for my sin. Let me live my life for You. Let my life show Your love for others. Never let others look at me and think that I am taking Your love and salvation lightly. Let my life reflect the power of Your name.