Archive for December 11th, 2007

Do You Believe in Magic…

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Acts 19:11-20 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Rev. Tammy Mills):

I had to chuckle as I read this scripture. All I could picture in my mind were the televangelists who are always asking for folks to send in money and in return they will send them a “prayer hanky.” This hanky will cure illness and bring great wealth to the holder — it is the promised cure-all.

I have to say there have been times in my life I have been sorely tempted to send in the money for the hanky. Sometimes life gets so difficult that a promise of an easy way out looks very tempting. The Ephesians were no different. They were looking for something to help them make it through.

Folks back in Paul’s day believed mental illness was the result of evil spirits, and there was a big “industry” that grew up around exorcisms. Many folks made a living casting out demons. When they saw the power Paul had it was only natural that many would try to use the name Paul was using.

They soon discovered that there was more to it than simply saying the name of Jesus. (Those seven brothers found out the hard way!) The power we find in Jesus comes from life transformation — not simple incantations. Giving our lives (and sometimes our way of life as the Ephesians did) over to the care of God is required to experience the power of Jesus.

Thought for the day: Am I using the name of Jesus as a “magic potion”? Or am I using the name of Jesus to guide me in my spiritual transformation?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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