11/15/18 Repentance

READING: Acts 18:19-19:41

“And many who had become believers came confessing and disclosing their practices.”

Acts 19:18

It’s not always easy to break former patterns, even for believers. Acts 19 tells the story of believers in Ephesus—a city well known for the practice of magical arts—who even after becoming Christ-followers apparently held on their spell books. Given their culture, they likely did not easily walk away from their previous sources of power and comfort. They hid their practices, but the activities were nevertheless still a part of their lives. When they learned through the failed exorcism that the name of Jesus is not one to use magically and that their pagan powers could not master demons, they determined to repent publicly of their practices. Burning their resources at great cost, they made it clear that they were following Jesus fully.

We might wish that sanctification were an immediate process that frees us from all of our former struggles, but seldom is that the case. The battle is often a day-to-day battle, trusting God moment-by-moment to grant us victory. When that full victory doesn’t take place immediately, the church must walk with each other toward full obedience. Breaking the patterns may take some time, but God takes us there through His Word, His Spirit, and His people.

Thus, we are to be both patient and persistent as we disciple and equip one another.


  • Pray for someone who today is testing your patience. Ask God to help you love him or her with persistence.
  • Prayerfully determine if you need to confess any hidden sin today.

PRAYER: “Lord, show me anything I need to bring out of the darkness.”  

TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Corinthians 1-4

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