THURSDAY, MAY 26
17 The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored.
18 Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. 19 A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars.
Acts 19:17-19 (NLT)
GROWING UP: DO I LOVE JESUS ENOUGH TO ABANDON MY CHERISHED SINS, EVEN IF IT COSTS ME?
David Dykes told a story once about a group of guys who were returning from playing golf in rural Georgia. As they drove down a two-lane road they came up on a smoldering house. Standing in front of the smoldering ashes was a distraught woman with a small child. The men were Christians, so they stopped the car and asked if she was okay. She said nobody was hurt but she had lost all she had. The men each pulled a few dollars out of their pockets and handed it to the woman and said, “God bless you.”
They drove off in silence. After a couple of miles the driver stopped the car and took off his golf hat. He turned to his buddies and said, “Okay, take out your wallets and give me all the money you have and we’re going to go back and give it to her.” They emptied their wallets and one man even wrote a large check. The amount in the hat totaled over $1,000. When they returned, they found the woman standing in the same place. The driver got out and said to the woman, “We just gave you some money, but we made a mistake. Would you be willing to give me all that money back?”
The woman, without complaining, gave him the few dollars they had given her. The driver then added that money to that inside his hat and handed her the whole hat. Then he said, “We’ll be sending you more.” (David Dykes, Sell Out and Buy Up!)
Black magic was a lucrative career in Ephesus. But black magic was also sinful in the eyes of God. A reverential fear came over the converts in Ephesus that changed their lifestyles. So many of the people who came to believe in Jesus left their black magic craft even though the cost was great.
When you willingly give Jesus all that you are and all that you have, you receive so much more in return. Mike asked the question: “What do I love more today? Jesus or my sin I want to keep doing that no one else knows about?” How did you answer that question?
Praise God for the rewards He provides when we abandon sin and follow Him. Ask God to show you anything you are holding on to that He wants you to let go.