Rhapsody of Realities 24 August 2023: It Takes the Spirit and the Word
SCRIPTURE: So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed (Acts 19:20).
Imagine being invited to a special conference to minister the Word, and you undertake a long, tedious, journey to get to the city. You went through the mountains, sailed on a boat, or even encountered some dangers on the way.
When you finally arrive at the city, you’re greeted by a group of twelve people who express excitement at your arrival. After the pleasantries, you say enthusiastically, “Shall we proceed to the conference?” and they all chorus, “Sir, this is the meeting; it’s only us twelve in the city.”
That was Paul’s experience at Ephesus. He had heard reports about this city, but upon his arrival, he found only twelve disciples there, though he expected to meet more. Paul recognized the challenge before him and also knew the solution to the issue. We can tell from his question in Acts 19:2 and the answer the twelve disciples gave him: they hadn’t received the Holy Spirit.
Paul then explained to them the baptism of John and the need to believe in Jesus Christ. Upon hearing this, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Afterwards, he laid his hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in tongues and prophesy. Paul knew that when they received the Holy Spirit, they’d go wild for the Gospel.
Paul didn’t stop there. Learning that they had been baptized only with John’s baptism gave him clarity about their situation. He decided to do a “sewing machine job,” that is, a three-month step-by-step teaching of the Word (Acts 19:8).
An important lesson to learn from Paul was that he wasn’t discouraged even though his audience was relatively small. He worked with the twelve men, ministered to them, and embarked on an evangelistic endeavour in the city, reaching out to both Jews and Gentiles.
The subsequent result was that all of Ephesus was impacted with the Word of God! As read in our opening verse, the Word of God grew mightily and prevailed throughout the nooks and crannies of the entire city. Hallelujah! If you’ve received the Holy Spirit, go wild for the Gospel! The power of God is at work in you to preach the Word and minister life to your hearers.
CONFESSION: Dear Father, I thank you for the power of your Word and the ministry of the Spirit in the lives of men. I’m committed to preaching the Gospel, taking your Word to the ends of the earth, teaching all nations the way of righteousness, and imparting them with the Spirit, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
And he went into the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, persuading andarguing and pleading about the kingdom of God.
9 But when some became more and more stubborn (hardened and unbelieving), discrediting and reviling and speaking evil of the Way [of the Lord] before the congregation, he separated himself from them, taking the disciples with him, and went on holding daily discussions in the lecture room of Tyrannus from about ten o’clock till three.
10 This continued for two years, so that all the inhabitants of [the province of] Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, heard the Word of the Lord [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God].
11 And God did unusual and extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,
12 So that handkerchiefs or towels or aprons which had touched his skin were carried away and put upon the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.
And now [brethren], I commit you to God [I deposit you in His charge, entrusting you to His protection and care]. And I commend you to the Word of His grace [to the commands and counsels and promises of His unmerited favor]. It is able to build you up and to give you [your rightful] inheritance among all God’s set-apart ones (those consecrated, purified, and transformed of soul).
Then he said to me, This [addition of the bowl to the candlestick, causing it to yield a ceaseless supply of oil from the olive trees] is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of Whom the oil is a symbol], says the Lord of hosts.
1-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: 1 Corinthians 9 & Psalms 128-134
2-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: Luke 18:28-34 & 1 Samuel 11-12
Thank you for studying today’s Rhapsody of Realities -It Takes the Spirit and the Word – written by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.
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Rhapsody of Realities 24 August 2023
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