Book of Acts Chapter Nineteen (Part Two)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that believers should be witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. Today, we hope to continue our discussion of the power of God’s word in Ephesus. .

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Body:

Read Acts 19:17-411. Ephesus: The Power of the Word (Continuation). In this section of the book of Acts a great turning from sin was experienced in the area. Paul started to make his way to Jerusalem and then Rome.

Demetrius instigated a great commotion about Paul’s impact on both the idol economy and the threat he presented to the idols. In the midst of the commotion, a clerk spoke to the crowd. The people were dismissed, when they understood what was really going on.

Applications –

- Helping to spread the power of God’s word. Notice in vss. 17-20 of the book of Acts that there was some hearing, fearing, costly repenting, and the growing of God’s word. First, the people heard about the power of God’s word, which meant someone had to be talking about it.

It is sad to see how quickly bad news spread and how slowly good news spread. We should work on spreading the good news about what God is doing in our lives and in our churches, so people can have something good to hear.

Second, the people feared the God that they heard about. They deeply respected the fact that if they obeyed God, God would bless, and if they disobeyed God, God would punish.

The measure of their fear was their action. We should make sure we are not simply playing word games and actually fearing God enough to obey Him.

Third, the people engaged in a costly act of repentance. They burnt their idol items. Matthew 6:21 teaches that where a person’s treasure is is where his/her heart is.

We should make sure our claim to be repentant is supported by our actions and our treasure. To say “I surrender all” and don’t even tithe is inconsistent.

Fourth, the word of the Lord was spreading. The spreading of the word is measured not only by how many know the word but also by how many people are living by the word.

We should work on being a part of the word spreading by both telling people about the word and by being living examples. Let’s work on helping people hear, fear, repent, and spread the word with our lips and lives.

- Staying true to God’s will. Notice in vss. 21-22 of the book of Acts that Paul stayed true to what he believed was God’s will for his life, in spite of the circumstances around him. It is dangerous to think all bad times mean it is time to go and all good times mean it is time to stay.

There are times when God wants us to stay in the bad times to help develop our spiritual muscles. And there are times when God want us to leave during the good times to make sure we are trusting Him and not our circumstances.

Let’s work on staying true to God’s will. Prayerful study of God’s word, seeking wise counsel, and praying for peaceful conscious can help us carry out this application.

- Motives. Notice in vss. 23-27 of the book of Acts how Demetrius was able to call people together around money and then the idols. His major concern was obviously his money.

Perhaps because this seemed so self-centered and ineffective in gathering a crowd, he also talked about the idols.

On one hand, we should be careful about how people use religion for their hidden agendas. This seems most applicable as we see politicians engage in “election religion.”

They make their rounds with the churches trying to gather support for their agenda. After the election, we don’t see them anymore.

On the other hand, we should guard from seeing a conspiracy in everything that goes on. Sometimes we simply have to do what we do knowing that our motives are right, even if we are not sure about the motives of others.

Let’s work on discerning the real agenda of those who talk about religious ideas and seek to be true in our motives.

- Mob mentality. Notice in vss. 28-34 that many of the people were upset without really knowing what they were upset about. They had became hostile, drew upon religious biases, and had gotten caught up in the moment.

We have to be so carefully not to allow the devil to draw us into a mob mentality. We should always know what we are happy about and what we are angry about.

We should avoid just going along with the crowd, especially if it is an unsaved crowd. Let’s work on being independent thinkers, not just mob followers.

- Do what you can. Notice in vss. 35-41 of the book of Acts that a clerk stepped up, brought order to the situation, and dismissed the mob. There are times when we must step up and let the record show that we did what we could.

Things may not always go as well for us as they did with the clerk, but we want the record to show that we tried. There is an orderly way to do all things.

When we feel that we need to act ugly to make our point, we can rest in knowing that God is not pleased. What we do in the heat of the moment, we will often have to give an account of in the calm of the days to come.

Therefore, we should be careful about acting rashly. And sometimes the best thing to do is to dismiss the crowd. The longer an assembly meets, the more chances the devil has of creating an uproar.

Let’s work on doing what we can to keep things decently and in order in our churches, families, and communities.

Conclusion:

Let’s be witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.

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