With this plan, you spend five minutes a day on five days of the week reading one chapter of the New Testament. Then you choose one of five ways to dig deeper. My "dig deeper" method for now is to try capturing the big idea of sentence, paragraph, or chapter.
Today, I've decided to home in on Acts 19:11-17. The apostle Paul is in the Asia Minor city of Ephesus. Paul taught the good news of new and everlasting life for all who believe in Jesus Christ. God used Paul to accomplish other things as well:
11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.Big idea:
13 Some Jews [Remember that Paul was a Jew] who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. [Acts 19:11-17]
When we confront evil in our own power, we are doomed (vv.15-16); although even this can redound to God's glory (v.17).My prayer:
Lord, help me be prepared to confront evil each day, evil in myself and in the world, by staying connected to You. May I only confront evil in the Name and in the power of Jesus Christ alone. And even when, by my own sin, I fail to stand in Your power alone, bring glory to Your Name. Amen