With each group of Christians he had met, prayed with and wept with, the prophecies got more vivid, more alarming. Those who knew Paul, had such great affection him. No other man in Scripture except for King David has inspired the same level of intense love and widespread admiration.
This has always been God’s heart, from the first moment Adam and Eve fell from grace to the last moment a person draws breath.
What a vivid portrayal of Jesus’ promise of salvation and eternal life. Now, they would forever link the memory of having broken the bread of sacrifice and drunk the wine of redemption with Paul’s words ringing out over Eutychus “His life is in him!”
God’s intent is to restore the earth and its inhabitants, and to reconcile everything to Himself. In keeping with that great mission, Paul sought to bring shalom—peace, wholeness, communion—to the body of Christ by initiating reconciliation between Jewish and Gentile believers.
Embedded in these verses is a lot of information found elsewhere in the New Testament, but not here—Luke was actually summarizing Paul’s activities in order to get to the part of the story Luke wanted to tell: the story of Eutychus and the elders in Ephesus.
God’s intervention is sometimes exercised in vivid and even shocking ways, huge displays of power that boggle the mind, visions of Jesus, miraculous healings, hair-raising stories of rescue and deliverance from the very teeth of evil. And sometimes God works quietly through circumstances He sets in motion long, long before the event where everything will need to converge in just the perfect way.
As I read Hosea, I realized the people of his day the people wanted happiness, not holiness, a change of circumstances, not a change of character. They shed tears of sorrow over suffering, not tears of repentance over sins.
According to both the Lord Jesus Christ, and the apostles Paul, Peter, and John, spiritual warfare is very real and human beings are both the battle ground and the prize.
Imagine Paul, outwardly road weary but inwardly growing warm with spiritual fervor as he neared the thriving metropolis and port city of Ephesus, in the height of its glory
Apollos had everything you could possibly want to be effective: he had education, talent, skill and experience. But until Apollos had the Holy Spirit, his ministry was not effective.