“…the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.” Paul begins a two year ministry in Ephesus and the surrounding area. He preached in the synagogue but when they refused to believe, he moved to the lecture hall. Too many people had not heard the gospel for Paul to waste his time arguing with those who remained obstinate. Paul shows us it is not for us to convert, simply to proclaim. God uses Paul in Asia in mighty ways so that even handkerchiefs that touched him were used to cure illnesses. When Jews used the name of Jesus to drive out demons, even demons saw through their insincerity and attacked them. This led to many fearing God, respecting His authority and realizing that His name was not a magic password. Evil deeds were confessed, sorcery scrolls were destroyed, and the word of the Lord spread. Today, the name of Jesus is taken in vain. Swear words are censored for TV shows, but the God’s name is not bleeped out. Even deodorant is labeled as being that good, so good that God’s name is put on it. What used to be reserved as what only adults could use, young kids are saying in front of adults without consequences. God is merciful and longsuffering, but His name is not to be taken lightly. He is not an exclamation, but the One who created everything. His name used as a swear word should cause us to plug our ears, not pass over it as common place. The next time someone says “Oh, my God”, ask them if He really is their God.
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