So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed (Acts 19:20).
Imagine being invited to a special conference to minister the Word, and you undertake a long, tedious, journey to get to the city. You went through the mountains, sailed on a boat, or even encountered some dangers on the way.
When you finally arrive at the city, you’re greeted by a group of twelve people who express excitement at your arrival. After the pleasantries, you say enthusiastically, “Shall we proceed to the conference?” and they all chorus, “Sir, this is the meeting; it’s only us twelve in the city.”
That was Paul’s experience at Ephesus. He had heard reports about this city, but upon his arrival, he found only twelve disciples there, though he expected to meet more. Paul recognized the challenge before him and also knew the solution to the issue. We can tell from his question in Acts 19:2 and the answer the twelve disciples gave him: they hadn’t received the Holy Spirit.
Paul then explained to them the baptism of John and the need to believe in Jesus Christ. Upon hearing this, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Afterwards, he laid his hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in tongues and prophesy. Paul knew that when they received the Holy Spirit, they’d go wild for the Gospel.
Paul didn’t stop there. Learning that they had been baptized only with John’s baptism gave him clarity about their situation. He decided to do a “sewing machine job,” that is, a three-month step-by-step teaching of the Word (Acts 19:8).
An important lesson to learn from Paul was that he wasn’t discouraged even though his audience was relatively small. He worked with the twelve men, ministered to them, and embarked on an evangelistic endeavour in the city, reaching out to both Jews and Gentiles.
The subsequent result was that all of Ephesus was impacted with the Word of God! As read in our opening verse, the Word of God grew mightily and prevailed throughout the nooks and crannies of the entire city. Hallelujah! If you’ve received the Holy Spirit, go wild for the Gospel! The power of God is at work in you to preach the Word and minister life to your hearers.
Dear Father, I thank you for the power of your Word and the ministry of the Spirit in the lives of men. I’m committed to preaching the Gospel, taking your Word to the ends of the earth, teaching all nations the way of righteousness, and imparting them with the Spirit, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Acts 19:8-12; Acts 20:32; Zechariah 4:6
1-year bible reading plan
1 Corinthians 9; Psalms 128-134
2-year bible reading plan
Luke 18:28-34; 1 Samuel 11-12