The other day we got a phone call at my house. It was a friend of ours, a woman in our church asking if our son would like to come over to their house and play with their son, who is about the same age. My son and their son have played together on Sundays during The Wave, but never outside that setting. We thought that’d be a great idea. We agreed, set up the day and time, and hung up the phone.
Then we went to my son and said, “Hey Crews, Paul wants you to come over and play with him at his house.” Crews began to think out loud, trying to remember who Paul is. He finally said, “Is he the Christian with the glasses?!?”
How are YOU known? Are you the Christian with the curly hair, the Christian with the nice smile, the Christian with the blue eyes, or the Christian with the great sense of humor?
I thought it was amazing that my son recognized Paul as a Christian first before any other descriptions came to mind. I thought to myself, “Wow, Paul’s doing something right if that’s how he’s known.”
So, how do people know YOU? What’s YOUR reputation?
Not only does Paul, my son’s friend have a good reputation, but the Apostle Paul had quite a reputation as well. In fact, we’re even told in the book of Acts, chapter 19, that demons knew who Paul was. Check it out in Acts 19:11-16:
God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. (One day) the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
Did you get that? Paul had such power and authority that even pieces of cloth he touched, when taken to sick people, made them well. Not only that, but demons knew Paul. And people knew Paul. These seven sons of Sceva tried to use the name of Jesus “whom Paul preches” to cast out demons and the demons begin a conversation with the seven sons and basically said, “Who in hell are you?”
Imagine living a life so sold out to Jesus that you build a reputation among demons! And don’t think that Paul was some hot-shot either. Remember Paul was the dude who, before meeting Jesus literally tortured and imprisoned Christians for following Christ! If God can turn his life into one that is known among demons, then what can God do with YOURS?