It is Christ who gives me strength

Ken Silva


Acts 13:6-11

They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabus and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, "you are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun."


Acts 13 gives a general account of Barnabus and Saul traveling to the island of Cyprus and then to Paphos. Both men were sent forth by the Holy Spirit, so we know that the Spirit was with them to strengthen and encourage them as they traveled. They encounter a sorcerer named Elymas (Bar-Jesus) on Paphos. Elymas hung around the ruling court trying to gain favor with the Governor or proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul in the notes is described as an intelligent, prudent, considerate man, who desired to hear the word of God. He would listen with an open mind and open heart to the Apostles. Elymas was a false prophet, a deceiver, a conjurer that didn't want the proconsul to receive the gospel. The notes remind us that Satan tries to keep important men, men of stature or power away from the gospel. If these men like the proconsul become believers they will influence many to embrace the truths and ways of Christ. Paul filled with the Holy Spirit, blinds the sorcerer for his evil ways. The notes also tell us that Sergius Paulus became a believer and that Saul became known as Paul during this time.


In our everday lives we have opportunities to witness God's grace and love to others. Sometimes we are intentional about sharing our faith and at other times we are "accidental". By accidental I mean that we may influence someone and not even know it. The point is that as witnesses for Christ we must be stalwart and upright at all times, we never know when someone may be watching what we do and listening to what we say. The scripture above reminds us that the enemy will interfere with our attempts to share Christ with others. We must recognize this and redouble our efforts if we feel that the enemy is putting up roadblocks. We must also recognize that we must be strong in the Lord everday as well. The enemy would like to knock us down and use our fall as a negative example to others. We are all just a couple of steps from the edge, as humans we have our weaknesses, but through Christ who gives me strength, all things are possible.


Dear Lord thank you for your love for me. Help me to share your love and grace with those that are in need of your touch. your love is all encompassing, never wavering and a unending source of comfort. Thank you Lord for who you are. Amen.

Devotions for October 21

Job 9,10
Acts 13,14

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