Bible reading: Acts 19v8-12
‘So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to those who were ill, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.’
Reflection: In the account in Acts 19 of Paul’s missionary work in Ephesus I am struck by several things.
Firstly, Paul’s total dedication to the work of proclaiming the Gospel. He is passionately and wonderfully ‘sold out for Jesus’.
Secondly, his persistence in doggedly explaining the Gospel daily for two years which leads in part to the breakthrough that occurs.
Thirdly, his courage to stand firm in the face of quite fierce opposition.
Fourthly, his obvious partnership with the Holy Spirit to produce ‘extraordinary miracles’ which fan the flames of revival.
The partnership between God and Paul is the key. It is never either or but always a partnership which produces the most effective results. Of course, we need an outpouring of the church taking the Good News to the world, but we also need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
I believe it is this kind of ‘power evangelism’ that will bring the explosive Kingdom growth that our brothers and sisters experience in many parts of the world today, but which often eludes us in the West.
It should be what we hope for, pray for and are working for.
Watchman Nee said: Our prayers lay the track down on which God’s power can come. Like a mighty locomotive His power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails.
Oh, for days like those in Ephesus!
(Phil Barber – Potters Church, Longton)
Give thanks for churches around the world living in the Spirit’s power.
for our city to be stirred by God’s power changing lives;
for communities in our nation to experience signs of God’s glory in their midst; for the Holy Spirit’s anointing on the church in sharing the gospel so that all people in Europe hear the good news of Jesus