3rd July 2020
‘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.’
Acts 19:13-16 (NKJV)
This might seem like an unusual passage to begin a devotion but it caused me to think back to the time before I knew Christ. At the age of 22 I had already experienced ‘church’. I had been through Sunday school and been brought up in a Christian home so I actually ‘knew’ a lot of Bible verses and stories, etc. The only problem was - I didn’t know Jesus. If someone had asked me questions about certain aspects of Christianity, I probably had enough ‘knowledge’ to have given a reasonable answer BUT - I didn’t know Jesus. The point is - knowing about Jesus is never enough, and head knowledge alone is never enough, if we are to walk in the authority and the life that He intended for us. We all need to personally know Him. Even if we have been Christians for a while it is possible to accumulate more knowledge about Jesus without really knowing Him. In 1974 Chris and I were married and I can still pull out our marriage certificate that shows when we entered into a marriage relationship. However at the end of the day it is just a piece of paper if I haven’t continued to grow in knowing her, loving her, and developing our relationship together. The sons of Sceva knew about Jesus and thought they had the ‘formula’ they needed, but without the relationship it amounted to just an empty religious ritual. In contrast, Paul’s whole desire is summed up in the letter to the Corinthian Church: “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2 NKJV) Consequently he was able to declare: “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” (1 Corinthians 2:4 NKJV) Whatever your need may be right now, the answer is found in your relationship with Jesus - may it grow stronger and stronger day by day.