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Walking in the Light

Daily Reading: Acts 19

Scripture Focus: There were about twelve men in all. (Acts 19.7)

Devotional Thought: In Acts 19, the Apostle Paul met the church that Apollos had pastored in Ephesus. It was a small group, about 12 men. Something was about to change, however.

God has a way of opening and closing doors at just the right time, doesn't he? As we read in Acts 18, Apollos had led them accurately and fervently, but then God called him off to Corinth. The congregation in Ephesus needed to 'release' Apollos in order to embrace Paul. It was a natural step in their spiritual growth. God's plan is always unfolding for his people who must step from one place to the next.

I like what Ralph Earle wrote about the Ephesian church in The Beacon Bible Commentary. The people in Ephesus were "Walking in the Light":

  • They repented according to the preaching of John the Baptist. When confronted with sin and its devastating effects, the only right response is repentance - a complete turning away.

  • They were baptized as Christians under the ministry of Paul. Having had repented, but not fully understanding the gospel message, they still needed to follow Christ in baptism. This they did at the hands of the Apostle.

  • They were filled with the Holy Spirit. Repentant and obedient, the Ephesians were ready to be filled with the Spirit. Nothing stood between them and this glorious spiritual baptism.

Something amazing happened. This tiny congregation, now filled with the Spirit, turned their community upside down. Thousands came to know the Lord. The church in Ephesus became the leading Gentile church of that day, second in influence only to the church in Jerusalem. It is still a pattern for churches and Christians today. To be effective, we must be repentant, obedient, and filled with the Spirit.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your grace freely given through Jesus Christ your Son. I turn away from all sin and consecrate myself completely to you. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. 13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. 15 If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have betrayed the generation of your children. 16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. 18 Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! 20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. (Psalms 73:12-20)

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