Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Outpoured & Overflowing - A Revival in Kentucky and Ephesus
Last week we started the series by talking about the revival at Asbury seminary in Kentucky and other revivals. The one common thread was this; God comes where he is wanted.
The outpouring of the Spirit breaks and smashes and pulverizes in a minute years of blindness and unbelief and sin.
Couldn’t have God picked out a better place than Kentucky for a revival? Shouldn’t this have happened at a strict Baptist college? Or conservative fundamentalist church? Or a mega church?
But it didn’t. It happened at Asbury when after a chapel service people lingered - and prayed - and the spirit fell. God comes where he is wanted.
Today’s big thought; the outpouring of God’s spirit is a roof raising, Jesus lifting, awe-inspiring, Devil defeating, community shaking, and kingdom building movement birthed and carried out by God’s hand.
Acts 19:1 And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inlandcountry and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized inthe name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
So, the story starts in the humblest of ways; Paul shows up and he finds a few believers, but these believers were followers of John the Baptist. They hadn’t even really heard of Jesus. Paul baptizes them again, but this time he baptizes them in the name of Jesus. These disciples are now identifying as Jesus followers.
Paul now goes to his next strategy which is going into synagogues and telling the Jews about Jesus Christ.
Acts 19:8 And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
Paul goes from rejoicing to resistance.
Acts 19:11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.
Acts 19:13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered allof them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.
This weird little incident gets the attention of the whole city. It is on the front pages of the paper. Everybody’s talking about the seven naked men who met a demon.
And what results? The name of Jesus is lifted up.
Acts 19:18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
And now, as a result of this outpouring, they are coming to Jesus.
The outpouring of God’s spirit is a roof raising, Jesus lifting, awe-inspiring, Devil defeating, community shaking, and kingdom building movement birthed and carried out by God’s hand.
So, let’s have a prayer; keep it up Lord! Keep it going! Give us more! Fill me! Use me! I lay it all down before you! Shake the city! Stop was
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