Being Known

27. April 2024 Acts 0

Text: Acts 19:8-15

Theme: Paul was known because he made Jesus known.

Key verses: “Then Paul went to the synagogue and preached boldly for the next three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God. But some became stubborn, rejecting his message and publicly speaking against the Way. So Paul left the synagogue and took the believers with him. Then he held daily discussions at the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the word of the Lord. God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled. A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, ‘I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?'” (v. 8-15).

What I believe God said to me: Paul was known by other believers. He was known by non-believers. He was even known by demons. But most importantly, he was known by me. This passage reads that I gave Paul power. That’s because I knew the motives of Paul’s heart. I knew his love and devotion to me. I knew he only wanted to make me known. I could trust Paul to use his God-given powers to glorify me and not himself. At a deeper level of inspection, you need to take note of a few things regarding Paul’s known-ness. First, notice that Paul became known by others. There is nothing wrong with notoriety. In fact, a platform can be helpful for my people in spreading the Gospel. Paul didn’t shy away from fame (or infamy). It was an inevitable outcome of him utilizing my power and boldly representing me. At the same time, Paul didn’t chase fame. It came to him, and not the other way around. This is the second lesson I want you to see today. Paul did in Ephesus what Paul always did wherever he went–he shared boldly and consistently about me with anyone who would listen. He went first to the synagogue and preached for three months, “arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God.” When he was rejected there, he found a lecture hall in town where he engaged people in daily discussions for the next two years. Now here is lesson #3: All that time, Paul was simply being obedient and faithful to his call. As with Jesus, fame spread abroad about Paul because my Spirit was upon him. Don’t chase fame, Dwayne. You should cling only to me and follow me. Trust and obey me in the smallest of details in your life–both in public and in private. Remember that I notice everything you do and think. Humble yourself in my sight, and in due time, I will lift you up to honor me in ways you can’t even imagine. I know you, and others need to know me. Those are the only things that should motivate you. Determine to make me known to others, and always know I will take care of you.

What I said to God: Father, thank You for meeting with me today. You know how I’ve allowed my thoughts to stray and how I’ve not focused my every moment on You of late. Please forgive me and cleanse me of my sins. I want to follow hard after You in everything I do and say. I want to truly worship You and You alone. I echo what Keith Green wrote: “Make my life a prayer to you. I wanna do what you want me to. No empty words and no white lies, no token prayers, no compromise.” Please continue to build my public platform and that of NLW International, so more and more people can hear about You and worship You with their lives.