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#carmelprays – Acts 19:1-10

Opening Song: I Will Wait For You

Read Scripture: Acts 19:1-10

In this passage, Paul is met with disciples who do not know about the Holy Spirit. Paul asks them what baptism they received, and they respond with “John’s baptism” (v3). In response, Paul distinguishes between John’s baptism and baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus. He clarifies that John’s baptism was a call to repentance and that John called people to look to the greater one who would come after him, Jesus Christ. Paul then baptises them in the name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit fills them, and they begin to prophesy and speak in tongues (v6). 

Paul then spends three months arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God in the synagogue (v8). Unfortunately, his audience proves stubborn and refuses to believe (v9). In light of their hardness of hearts, Paul senses that it is time to leave. He travels to the lecture hall of Tyrannus where he served for two years. There, Paul preached until all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord (v10). 

There is much to reflect on from this passage. First, have you been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ? In this passage we see that true faith in Christ is accompanied with the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to love Christ and to fight the sin in our lives. This passage stresses the importance of having a proper grasp of what we have faith in. If it is in Jesus alone, then we will be aided by the Holy Spirit in this life here on earth. 

Second, are we in any way like the people in the synagogue? These people were stubborn and did not receive Paul’s message. In what way are we rejecting the teachings of the Bible? Here, we are warned that if we prove stubborn and refuse to believe, there will be consequences. Let us pray for soft hearts that are always responsive to the truths of Scripture. 

Last, we should reflect on the wonderful example set by Paul. Paul is a prime example of a hardworking and dedicated worker. He devotes years of his life to faithfully teaching from the Scripture. We must ask ourselves if we love the gospel the way Paul does. If we believe that the gospel is true, then it should always bear fruit in our lives. We should be faithfully preaching the gospel to those who have not heard it. In a time when we are confined to our homes, how can we continue to do this? Are there people in your life who need to hear the gospel? Pray for them and reach out to them. 

Pray in Response

Father, I confess to You that my heart is prone to wander. There are times when I harden my heart and disregard Your Word. There are times when I live like the people in the synagogue in today’s devotional. Thank You for loving me even then. Thank You for Your patience and kindness even when I sin. 

I pray that You empower me to fight sin in my life. Help me to live a more Christ-like life. Teach me to build my life on Christ, not on anything that is worldly. I pray that You take my life and use it mightily for Your mission. I pray that You use me, like Paul, to tell others about the gospel. Amen.

Response Song: Build My Life

By Darren Sim

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