Paul stumbles across some people who haven't been updated for a long time. Paul asks them "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" (v. 2) They reply telling Paul that John the baptist baptized them and they did not even hear of the Holy Spirit before. Paul explains to them what the Holy Spirit is and baptizes them in the Holy Spirit. Have you ever come across a person who says they are a Christian, but their ideas about it are skewed? How do you show someone the right way?
In verses 11-20 the sons of Sceva try to cast out an evil spirit in a demon-possessed man. One problem, these men had not developed a personal relationship with Jesus, so when they tried, the demon replied, "Jesus I know , and I know about Paul, but who are you?" (v. 15) The man jumped on them and beat them leaving them naked and wounded. Why didn't the demon leave the man when he heard Jesus's name called? How do people try to use Jesus for their own purposes today? What is the difference between that and real faith in Christ?
Paul travels to Ephesus and preaches there. The silversmiths become angry because they are losing their idol worshipers and blame Paul for messing with the economy. A riot is started and the crowd shouts, "great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" Finally, Alexander is able to calm the crowd and Paul thinks that its is a good time to leave and does. Success, money and independence are some cultural idols. What others come to mind? How has you faith affected your relationship to idols?
What is in your life today that most prevents you from God?
What can you do to remove those distractions?