Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
In Acts 19, Paul arrives in Ephesus and meets some disciples who had only heard of John’s baptism and had not received the Holy Spirit. Paul teaches them and they are baptized in the name of Jesus and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Paul begins preaching in the synagogues, driving out evil spirits, and through the power of God, illnesses were healed simply by touching handkerchiefs and aprons that Paul had touched! Lives were changed and the word of God “spread widely and grew in power.” Their world was being turned upside down and so riots began to break out in Ephesus. After the uproar, Paul set out for Macedonia and Greece ( in Chapter 20) and was “speaking words of encouragement” to the people. He raised a young man named Eutychus from the dead after the man had fallen asleep and fell out of a window during one of Paul’s very long sermons. Finally, Paul called for the elders of the church in Ephesus to tell them that he is “compelled” by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem, not knowing what would happen to him. He challenges them to be shepherds of the church and be on their guard. They say their goodbyes, embrace each other, and weep knowing that they will never see each other again in this life.
What is one key verse?
“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
How does what you read change your vision of God?
These passages remind me that no matter what is going on in the world around me that God’s amazing grace is enough. It is unchanging and sustains me through anything. Paul was sharing God’s word and message of Grace even in the midst of riots, persecutions, hardships, transitions, sickness, and loss.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
In chapter 20 verses 28 to 31, Paul not only challenges the elders to proclaim the will of God to the world but to watch over and shepherd the flock. Although this was a charge to the elders, it is so important that no matter what is going on in the world that we not only preach the gospel but that we also take care of each other.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
In all the chaos and craziness of this world, it is easy to get caught up and forget the calling that we have. I am to share God’s grace and to finish the race. I will remember my calling, like Paul did. Even if I don’t know what will happen to me in this life, I know who I live for and who I will die for.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
Paul’s determination in Acts 20:24 to finish the work and the race God set before him reminds me so much of Jesus. In John 4:34, Jesus states “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”