Labor Day, 2021. Acts, #66. Acts 19.1-7
Four babies… none of them birthed easily. I wasn’t one of those women of whom doctors say ‘you have a body built for giving birth!’ Pregnancies were not bad at all, but bringing them into the world? A different matter. But here’s the thing: I knew that after all of the labor, all of the pain--which would eventually come to an end--there would be a baby! And in the process, there was encouragement, there was cheerleading, which kept me going--and the payoff at the end.
Today is Labor Day in some parts of the world, and I could not help but think of how many of us are feeling ragged in our labor. Whether or not we are working a job, life has become laborious. Truth.
As Paul starts his third and final missionary journey in Acts 19, he goes into Ephesus, which is in modern day Turkey. Here are the few verses to consider, Acts 19.1-7: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+19.1-7&version=NLT.
I read over these verses several times, listened to sermons on them, read in various commentaries and prayed for meaning and application for you and me today.
One of the most meaningful communication tools is ‘the question’. Upon encountering a group of believers in Ephesus, Paul asks this question: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Turns out the group had heard and believed John the Baptist’s message of repentance and a Messiah who was coming, but they did not have the full story. Turns out the Messiah had come and with him, the promised Holy Spirit.
Maybe you are like those believers in Ephesus. You grew up in a religion but didn’t know that you could have the person and power of the Holy Spirit in your life or you are just now checking out Jesus, examining the claims of Christianity, but you have not realized the gift of the Holy Spirit in your life. Game changer.
So, permit me to ask you what Paul asked them 2000 years ago, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” If you did not, of course you are running ragged!
~>Jesus says a couple things to us in our labor, especially if we are feeling ragged:
Come to Me all who are weary and I will give you rest.1
And then…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you...2
In the next couple days, we are going to consider how to grab ahold of what Jesus is talking about… stay tuned.
Here is hope for now,
I invite you to stop your labor … if even for a few minutes.
Exhale your fatigue~
As you inhale, turn to Jesus and invite him to give you true rest.
Alive and Breathing, Matt Maher--great song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHfPN2-V5fw
Sending you life and love today,
1 - Matthew 11.28
2 - Acts 1.8