Acts 19:11-20: Also many of those who became believers confessed and disclosed their practices. A number of those who practiced magic collected their books and burned them publicly; when the value of these books was calculated, it was found to come to fifty thousand silver coins.
In True Colors, a favorite movie, one man chooses politics while a friend chooses to work for the Justice Department. Ultimately, the honest man has to arrest his politician friend. His boss tells him of the experience and the work at Justice, “You don’t own it until it costs you something.”
Seeing another person pay a dear cost speaks convincingly of that person’s commitment. In Acts, some people only took notice of the disciples’ teaching when they saw others sacrifice money. People “who became believers confessed and disclosed their practices,” then “collected their [magic] books and burned them.” It wasn’t teaching and miracles that turned people, but the sacrifice of “fifty thousand silver coins.”
What gets the attention of the people in this day and time? Is it seeing the miracle of peace in a Christian soul amid a turbulent world? Or will people only turn to God when they see our willingness to sacrifice materially? And will we allow our faith in Jesus to cost us, to make us uncomfortable and vocal about needed change?
Do I really ‘own’ my faith if it hasn’t cost me something?
Psalms 146, 147; Judith 12:1-20; Luke 4:14-30
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