"Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing." Acts 19:18-20, NAS95.
Today's chapter is another dramatic episode in Paul's life. Luke picks out some key events during the years he is in Asia. One of the stories that is highlighted by these verses is the corporate clean-up of the lives of the new disciples.
This group was doing four things that have been lost to much of our modern Christian culture.
1) They kept coming: There was a regular draw of personal repentance in their lives. They were aware of the Holy Spirit's conviction and kept allowing Him to transform them.
2) They kept confessing: We start our journey with Jesus by confessing our faults. However, as we become more "sophisticated" followers, we learn that the culture is not one of confession but hiding.
3) They kept disclosing: Similar to confession. they brought the areas of their lives that did not honor God into the light and allowed disclosure to remove the power of them in their lives. Vulnerability is one of the key qualities of a maturing disciple in the transformational process.
4) Lastly they got rid of what was hindering their walk with Jesus. They burned what was keeping them bound to the tune of 160 years worth of daily wages.
As we look at this list of actions, is there one missing from our lives? They were committed to making sure there was nothing in between them in Jesus and the results were astounding in both their lives and the community. Let's emulate these people of faith and see the Lord's hand upon our city as well.
Have a great day!