Daddy blog

I started this blog when I was following the Life Journal Bible reading plan on YouVersion. (I've since completed that plan.) At that time, YouVersion didn't provide any way for people to respond to my notes, other than to "like" them. So this blog is here to remedy that problem. You may comment on my notes here in the comment section.
I also have a general blog.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

It's a relationship, not magic


S: Acts 19:11-18 God was performing extraordinary miracles by Paul’s hands, so that when even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his body were brought to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. But some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were possessed by evil spirits, saying, “I sternly warn you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” (Now seven sons of a man named Sceva, a Jewish high priest, were doing this.) But the evil spirit replied to them, “I know about Jesus and I am acquainted with Paul, but who are you?” Then the man who was possessed by the evil spirit jumped on them and beat them all into submission. He prevailed against them so that they fled from that house naked and wounded. This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks; fear came over them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was praised. Many of those who had believed came forward, confessing and making their deeds known.

O: In western literature, especially older works, we see things of Christ being held up to have magical power -- e.g. vampires cannot stand the cross, holy water, etc.

Even today, we see sometimes people invoke things of Christ for magical power, e.g. "Be sure to say grace before a meal, especially when travelling in countries where the food might not be clean, to protect yourself from indigestion."

The seven sons of Sceva tried to use Jesus' name as magical incantation to drive out evil spirits, but clearly it did not work.

God wants us to have a relationship with Him, not to use His name as a magical incantation. When Jesus said, "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13), He wasn't telling us a magical formula.

In any case, His name wasn't even "Jesus" -- the way we pronounce it in English is so far removed from the way He would have said His name, which is something closer to "Yeshua".

So, there is nothing magical about the sound "Jesus" -- in spite of what the old hymn "Jesus, what a wonderful name" might imply. It's who is behind that name that is important.

A: So, we must cultivate our relationship with Him, or as John 15:4 puts it, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me."

I, too, struggle with this as the daily responsibilities of life crowd in. But we need to make time daily to cultivate our relationship with Christ.

P: Father, as I juggle so many things daily, remind me to abide in You. In Jesus' name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

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