OVERVIEW: Paul’s third missionary journey brings him to Ephesus. The idol makers in Ephesus feared the spread of Jesus’ teaching would devastate their business.
BIG IDEA: Allow God’s Spirit to change your mind or actions.
KEY VERSE: Acts 19:26 (Artemis to the craftsmen)
But as you have seen and heard, this man Paul has persuaded many people that handmade gods aren’t really gods at all. And he’s done this not only here in Ephesus but throughout the entire province!
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
I offer life and salvation to all; it is my message of hope. My message is one of truth and love, but it is also disruptive. When you point people to me, expect resistance. When you make me known in areas where I am unknown, people are forced to reconsider everything they’ve previously trusted. Everything that they’re familiar with—relationships, religions, livelihoods, lifestyles, the status quo—must be evaluated when deciding to worship only me.
Even so, follow me when I invite you to join me where I am working. Following me, however, is not the same as being annoying or pushy or arrogant or demanding or condescending or argumentative or preachy. Respond in love when I call you. Look for the right times to have the conversations I want you to have. Wait on me—don’t force the issue. And when you speak, do so in love and with patience, kindness, and understanding. Trust me with the results. My disruptive message is not always popular or received, but I am still at work.
Do you find yourself using your faith to further your agenda? It is tempting to be preachy or even annoying with your beliefs to draw attention to yourself. Take some time to consider how you are using social media, ‘Christian’ products, or your face-to-face conversations. Ask God to help you love others as he loves them.