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Thursday, January 11, 2024

Acts 19:10

And this continued by the space of two years so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

For further study – Acts 19:8-22

This passage of scripture is a portion of the record of the ministry of Paul on his second missionary journey that would take him into Asia Minor, to Ephesus on the coast of the Agean Sea. This area today is the country of Turkey.

Paul would come to this city, one of the major cities of Asia, the location of the temple of the goddess Diana. The great leader of the Grecian Empire, Alexander the Great had visited this city and built a great theater that would seat over 25,000 people.

Verse 8 reveals the "ministry method" used by the Apostle as he endeavored to reach the area with the message of the gospel. For three months Paul would "speak boldly, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God."

Many living in Ephesus would reject the message and go to their neighbors, speaking "evil" of the "way", which would drive Paul to "separate the disciples" for additional teaching. Paul would use the "school of Tyrannus" for the next two years for this special training, verse 9.

I’ve been in Ephesus at the spot where the "school" was located almost 2,000 years ago. As I now read this record of Paul’s ministry I am thrilled with the way God used one man to impact one of the great cites of the world at that time in history.

It is also very impressive to see how God worked in the lives of many people who were involved in the worship of a false god, or should I say "goddess", verses 23-41.

This major impact on these people and their great city was because of the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, verse 20. What a lesson for each of us today, we must use the "Word of God" to impact this world, not the methods of the world.

Please notice one other verse, our key verse for today’s devotional reading, verse 10. The text says that over a two year period, all that dwelled in Asia heard the Word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

This is an awesome achievement in ministry, a whole region of the world hearing the word of God. But notice the region that this ministry affected, Asia Minor. This is where the church in Ephesus would be used to establish six other churches that would receive a special message from Jesus, personally to them.

Of course, we are talking about the seven churches of Asia Manor, the churches of Revelation 2 and 3. The letters that these churches would receive from Jesus would be the last words of Jesus to the Church.

All work that we do for the Lord, though it may seem "little" in our eyes, is "much" in the eyes and plan of God. Paul’s example of ministry and the method of his ministry should encourage each of us to keep at the task of serving Him until He shouts for us to join Him in the "air" at the time of the Rapture, which could happen today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the "example" that you give to me through the ministry of your chosen servants. Might I follow this example of the "method of ministry" that Paul used to reach an entire region of the world, and might I do this eagerly as I await the shout by Jesus at the Rapture.