A Profitable Business


Acts 19 25 26

Acts 19 tells about Paul’s ministry in Ephesus.  While there he performs many miracles and heals many people and “The word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing”.  While there the silversmiths who made the shrines to Artemis conspired against him because the Christian converts stopped buying their profitable shrines and they were losing their livelihood.  So of course they formed a mob and tried to get Paul and the Christians in trouble with the law and they tried to drum up religious fervor to protect their business. In the end it was ok for Paul, but this had to be a hindrance to his mission.

In this story the followers of Artemis were not just rioting against Paul and the other missionaries, but against their friends, neighbors, and family who had converted to Christianity.

If you are a Christian and have non-Christian friends then they will often try to bring you down to their level.  They see that you are changing and they do not want to change, just like the silversmiths, so they will try to do anything they can to go back to the “good o’l days” when you were living in sin.  You have to watch out because these people can have a strong influence on your life and will erode your faith if you let them. This type of thing happened to Paul several times, and in some instances he just had to leave that city and in others he was able to stick around and continue to minister in that city.  Maybe if you have given your life over to Christ you will need to leave some friendships, or maybe you can help that person to come to Christ themselves, it will take prayer to know what is needed in your situation.

-Chris Mattison

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