Saturday, 28 October 2017

The Call - 31 Days in Acts



Yesterday in chapter 16 of Acts we met Timothy and Lydia, talked about Empowering People's Lives and briefly mentioned the call to Macedonia in the vision Paul had.


Now today we are going to look at the result of the call in the rest of chapter 16 but first I just wanted to mention something that I hadn't thought about before.

In verse 10 we read

10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.


We have two pronouns there that indicate there were more than Paul, Silas & Timothy heading off to Macedonia after the vision.

It says 
"immediately we sought to go"  
and 
"the Lord had called us to preach the gospel"


We really need to remember that there was always another person around,

the one who was recording all the facts, 

the one we started off in Day 1 chapter 1 saying Thank You to 

LUKE  the doctor and the author of this book and the Gospel named for him.


This is the first time (or maybe I have missed another little pronoun somewhere) we have seen him include himself in the people travelling among the Apostles.

Interesting that he deliberately does mention "we" in the decision to go, so does this mean that they all were included in making the decision and not just Paul in charge?

Then he used "us" in reference to preaching the Gospel which makes me wonder if the preaching was not simply left to the Apostles as we may feel through the examples we are presented with along the way.  I am sure they would all have been involved in sharing the Good News as they talked with people but this might be the indication here more towards them each having opportunities to preach and it would make sense because that would be part of the discipling and mentoring by the Apostles.


Looking now at verses 16 - 24 we see what happens after the group have accepted the call to Macedonia and the offer to stay with Lydia in her home in Philippi. 

We have the story of the girl with the evil spirit taunting them as they went to prayer - a time when the devil certainly wants to draw their attention away from their purpose.

The girl is saying a form of the truth but that does not mean she is saying it in a respectful way or for the right reason.  Paul deals with her wrong intentions by casting out the evil spirit but then her employers are not happy and decide to bring more evil upon Paul & Silas by taking them to the Roman authorities and complaining about them causing division in the city.

The devil will always use another way to stop the Word of God when he fails in his first attempt.

The people are incited and then the authorities are incited and anger rules the day.  

The devil thinks he has won when Paul & Silas are beaten severely and thrown into the inner part of the prison and locked up in the stocks.  But this is one of those well-known stories in Acts and we know that the devil does not have the final say.




Verses 25 - 34  tell us who is triumphant over all as Paul and Silas are not disheartened in prison but instead sing the praises of God and the earthquake shakes the prison to frighten all within and to free the two prisoners from there chains.
When we first hear this part of the story I'm sure most of us would be tempted to think that Paul and Silas would use the opportunity to escape but God's ways are not our human ways and God had more to do here than just rescue His people.

He also had more people to bring into His Kingdom.

The result of the quake may start with a very frightened jailer ready to kill himself but it ends with a very happy household as they are presented with hope and joy in the future.
No preaching was necessary here just a simple explanation about Believing in the Right Thing using that great verse 16 which we covered in Day 26.


Fear turned into Joy because of the simple message of the Gospel.



Verses 35 - 40  finish off the chapter with the recounting of how Paul and Silas are finally asked to leave not only the prison but the city.  No punishment now they are being requested to leave because of the fear the rulers have over what has occurred.

The whole city knows and their attitude has been turned upside down from evil prevailing to the presence of God prevailing.

This is the result of obedience to the call to come to Macedonia.




I'm trying to read and write about the Book of Acts for 31 Days so please come back and join me for some notes & some thoughts each day. 

As the month goes on each Day's Link will be added in 



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