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Acts 19:11-20

Thursday, 26 November 2020

“So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.” -Acts 19:20

The impact of the Gospel that was spread by Paul and his companions is the context of our reading today. The word of the Lord went forth in the power of the Holy Spirit and was manifest not just by the transformation of lives, but by the signs and wonders done through the apostles. Others who tried to use the Name of the Lord Jesus to their own profit met with severe consequences. Yet they that rightly responded with true conviction and belief were truly blessed.

Believing in the true God is the rightest thing to do, if someone is convinced of the existence and the power of a true God– the greatest conceivable Being. But from the first humans itself we see something contrary. The first couple who were living right before God, who created them, should have been the most convinced about their belief in God. Yet the Bible says they did not truly believe in what God asked them not to do or the after effects of doing it; otherwise they would not have eaten the forbidden fruit; in fact Bible scholars say they doubted the love of God and hence they did not truly believe in Him or in what God commanded to them.

Even among today’s “believers” we see these two kinds of people- who truly believe in God and who don’t, but would like to use God for their benefit. Many among the so- called “Christians” unknowingly or knowingly expose themselves of their lack of “true belief” by their actions which, as we know our traditions and culture might have inculcated in them, but are not biblical. Many superstitious beliefs can impede true belief in Almighty God, unconsciously attributing some kind of power in certain objects. Such seemingly harmless kinds of belief are all serious breach of the first commandment of God: You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3). The same commandment was reiterated and made clear to us by our Lord Jesus Christ when He taught us that, “So love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). Those who engage in non- biblical practices, are actually failing to love God with all of their heart, mind, soul or strength.

Nature and everything in it is created by Him and in the book of Job we see God who ordained the Pleiades and Orion in their respective positions, challenges Job by asking him whether he can change anything about this nature, let alone the positions of stars or planets (Job 38:31). In other words, God is saying to Job that He is the Creator— all-powerful, all-knowing and all-present God and Job (for that matter all of us) can blindly believe Him.

Moreover God is love and God Himself defined the greatest love as laying down one’s life for his friends (John 15: 13) and he proved it by despising the shame on the cross and dying for all of us. In other words, God loved us more than His life. Dear Readers won’t it be so foolish of us, if we don’t “truly believe” in such a Wonderful God who is the Greatest and yet loved us more than His life? If such a God is on our side who can be against us?

Thought for the Day: “He does not believe who does not live according to his belief.” ~ Thomas Fuller



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