Date: Tuesday, August 6
Scripture: Acts 19:11-20
Verse: But the evil spirit said to them in reply, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” (Acts 19:15)
There are some password protected websites I don’t use very often, like the one for my insurance. When I need something from that site, I know it will take a few attempts to get the right combination of my username and password. I have several different usernames to choose from. Then there is the password. Is it the easy one, the one with the number, the one with the capital letter the special character and the number, the old one I used 15 years ago, or did they assign one to me? I could look it up in my file of passwords, but I have to remember the password that opens that, and there is only about a 50% chance I have recorded this particular password. I also could have the site ask me the answer to the secret question, but did I enter the street I grew up on as Cable, Cable Ave, or Cable Avenue? AHHH!
Sometimes I feel like the explorers in those old movies standing before a cave trying to figure out the “magic words” that will open it up to the secret treasure. “Abracadabra?” No? How about, “Open sesame?” Hey, I wonder if anyone uses “open sesame” as a password. Many of us were taught that “please” was a magic word, and were sometimes told to say, “I’m sorry,” even when we didn’t mean it.
In today’s reading a group of people have seen the hearings Paul has done in Jesus name, so they try some magic words of their own. They use the names Paul and Jesus when trying to exorcise an evil spirit. The spirit responds as many do when we try to namedrop, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
This is a good reminder that our faith is not about magic words – not even “please” or an “I’m sorry” we don’t really mean. We are not just trying to find the right formula to get God to do the things we would like him to do. No, our faith is about our relationship with Jesus.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach me to deepen my relationship with you so that I am not relying on magic words. Amen.
Action: Clean up your passwords, and record them somewhere.
Respond: What “magic words” do you remember? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.