Coming at ya with a little lunch time devotion today! Better late than never…
1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
The answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
3So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
4Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in all. (Acts 19:1-7)
Today and tomorrow we are going to look at how Jesus and the Holy Spirit used Paul to do amazing things in the early Christian Church. Do not ever forget who Paul was. As Saul, this man was a monster against the Christian church, hunting the earliest members down, jailing and even killing them. And from this beast Jesus rose His greatest champion. Today we see Paul baptize a dozen men with the Holy Spirit by just speaking the name of Jesus. Christ knew that Paul would be as zealous for the cause of Christ as Saul was for the destruction of Christ. Jesus stepped in and flipped Saul to Paul and from that change much of the New Testament and the earliest Christian Churches were built.
I know I have stated it before, and I am sure I might make the point a few more times before the Book of Acts is through, but if Paul’s story is not a story of the redemption power of Christ, then nothing is. Jesus used one of His greatest enemies to be His greatest ally. Paul’s story shows that no one is ever too far away from Jesus to make a full pivot and change the course of their lives forever. We live in the most privileged country in the world, and yet we grow further and further away from God and Jesus. We continue to isolate ourselves and focus on just making America great, yet we can not even accomplish that because we don’t want to put the work in to make a lasting change. We would rather just turn on Netflix and watch a series about a con-man with tigers. Jesus is trying to ignite a revival in this country, to turn the priorities of this nation upside down. Jesus wants the Saul in America to die and rise again as Paul, a country passionately persistent on loving God and loving others. There has never been a greater time than now to make a complete change and fall into Christ’s open, loving arms.
Reading plan: Acts 19:23-41
Deeper reading plan: Job 7, 8, 9
Prayer and meditation: Pray for the sick, pray for the lost and their loved ones. Pray for redemption for this lost world. Pray for a reviving rattle to shake COVID off this planet. Pray for all those in medical professions, grocery stores, supply chain operators, first responders, and the amazing teachers still doing all they can to teach the students they love so much. Pray for all the businesses trying to recover and keep their associates able to provide for their families. Pray that the world reopens without a surge of new COVID outbreaks. And pray that the world has undergone a lasting change and the flame of revival has been lit!
Fitness challenge: Calisthenics day. I want to stick with this circuit for the month of May, so today, let’s bump up the reps all the way to our max of 25, and add a second round. But get ready, we’ll be stepping this up these last two weeks of the month.
- Hand-release Push-up
- Jumping squats
- Diamond push-ups
- Supine Bicycle (4-count)
- Pistol squats (25 each leg)
- Burpees (as many as you can, but 25 is the goal)