Paul at Ephesus

Acts 19.1-20

Paul returns to Ephesus where he will set up his base of operations for this his third and final missionary journey. Nothing like pitching your tent outside the Enemy’s stronghold as you make your assault on the forces of darkness.

Paul’s ministry in Ephesus is powerful both in word and in deed. Miracles abound…miracles of healing and casting out demons. Miracles that show the power of God over the demonic realm. The gates of hell cannot prevail against Jesus’ Church. In the battle between light and darkness, miracles and magic…it is the name of Jesus that is magnified. He has already won the victory.

As that truth dawned on these Ephesian believers, they were convicted of their sin…of the past they were still holding on to…and they did something about it. They made a clean break. So I want to challenge you with something this week…what is it that you need to confess and make a clean break from? What sin are you holding on to? For them the clean break meant destroying the objects that had caused them to stumble. What might that look like for you?

Take the next few minutes to confess whatever sin it is that you are holding on to and to turn it over to Jesus and ask Him what a clean break looks like for you. And then this week take the next step…whatever that might be…follow through and make a clean break.

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This post is based on a sermon from our Acts series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Setting the Captives Free

Luke 4.31-44

Luke shows us examples of how Jesus fulfills His ministry (Isaiah 61)…He preaches the good news to the poor (4.31-32, 43-44), frees prisoners oppressed by the devil (4.33-37, 41) and heals the sick (4.38-40), demonstrating His authority and power over demonic forces and physical infirmities, in both the spiritual and physical realms. These miracles prove that His message is Good News for All!

Are you being held captive by the enemy today? Then Jesus is good news for you. Are you suffering today? Then Jesus is good news for you. Jesus came to seek and save the lost…to set the captives free, to rescue the oppressed, to give sight to the blind, to bring good news to the poor. Jesus wants to rescue you today. Will you let Him?

Just like Jesus, we also have mission. We are to show the same compassion and love that He did for each person. No one should be left behind. Every single person is worth the investment of our time. Jesus spent the entire night making sure that each person received a touch from His hand. We should do the same, running into enemy territory and setting free the captives. Out of gratitude for what Jesus has done for us, we too should joyfully look for ways to serve Him by serving others. Who can you intentionally serve this week? Who Can you intentionally share the Good News with? The King is here! Like Jesus, we do that by leaning into the Spirit and allowing God’s Word to dwell in us richly, as Paul puts it.

Have you ever officially given everything over to Jesus…given Him full administrative rights to your life? Your relationships…spouse, children, parents, teachers, coaches, classmates, teammates, co-workers, etc.? How about your hopes and dreams, your fears and anxieties, your future, your ambitions and longings, your job, your independence, your heart? Why not do it now? Maybe the reason we don’t experience the abundant life that Jesus promises is that we are holding out. We’re building a rival kingdom…because you cannot enjoy the kingdom Jesus brings unless you are submitted to the King.

“What would your church (and the worldwide church) look like if everyone was as committed as you are? If everyone gave and served and prayed exactly like you, would your church be healthy and empowered? Or would it be weak and listless?” (Francis Chan)

Until next time…stay salty.

“May we join Jesus on His mission this week to share the good news of the kingdom with a lost and dying world in dire need of rescue.”

This post is based on a sermon from our Luke series, Redefining the Family. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster