The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 31 July 2020 – Beware Of The Peddlers Of The Gospel
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TOPIC: Beware Of The Peddlers Of The Gospel
READ: Acts 19:11-20 (NKJV)
- Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul,
- so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
- Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”
- Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
- And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
- Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
- This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
- And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds.
- Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned [them] in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and [it] totaled fifty thousand [pieces] of silver.
- So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
The ministries of the early apostles were saturated with miracles, signs and wonders. This gave great expedience to the spread of the Gospel, and Jesus’ Name was honoured far and wide. At this point, the ministry of Paul had become so powerful that even handkerchiefs that came in contact with him could be used to effect miraculous impact. Today, such supernatural endowment would have been used by many so-called men of God to achieve great feats for themselves – but not Paul. Many of the “ministries of miracles” today are more of exploitation centres where “men of God” set up shops to sell all sorts of “anointed” articles (handkerchiefs, anointing oil, t-shirts, books, customised Bibles, etc.), at exorbitant rates to the gullible public. No doubt, God is still in the business of doing miracles today, but only through the ministries of men and women whose sole motive is to honour Christ alone.
Many of the self-acclaimed miracle workers of our time are more like the “seven sons of Sceva” whose desire to perform miracles is only to enrich themselves and promote their own image at the expense of Christ’s honour. They make what Scripture calls “merchandise of God’s word” (2 Peter 2:1-3; John 2:16). Their belly is their god (Philippians 3:18-19). For such deceitful individuals, just as the punishment of the sons of Sceva was severe, so theirs will also be at God’s appointed Day of Judgment. Child of God, be very careful so that you are not deceived.
Prayer: Lord, may I never use the Gospel to promote personal honour.