Showing posts with label Paul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul. Show all posts


Acts Chapter 20 (contd.) - Paul's Goal

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In the last post in this series we were in the middle of chapter 20  A Short Eventful Visit  in a place called Troas but their stay there was only for 7 days so they were now travelling once again.

verses 13 - 16

They all moved on together by boat and obviously Paul's destination was to be Jerusalem.

16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.

So the question is - does he make it there in time for Pentecost?

verses 17 - 38

Although Paul wanted to sail past Ephesus we now see in verse 17 that he had stopped in his journey in Miletus and wanted to speak with the elders from the Ephesians church.

They came to meet with him and while he was talking with them we have a very significant statement in verses 22 - 23

22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 

Paul was certain that The Spirit of God was urging him towards Jerusalem, even though this was not a place he would want to go to or that anyone else would want him to go to because there had been ministry through the Holy Spirit indicating the hard time that would await him there.

Why was he still eager to go to Jerusalem?

The answer is in the next verse

24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

The answer consists of a few things:

  • Nothing he already knows is swaying him away from Jerusalem.
  • His physical life is not important.
  • He wants to finish his earthly life and meet His Saviour with Joy.
  • His life should be a testimony to the Grace of God.

He had a goal set before him to finish his race well.

Do we have a goal to finish this race of life well?

He also wanted to forge on regardless of what lay ahead and of the things he would be leaving behind as verse 25 tells us there would be many people he would not see again on this earth.

25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.

But from his words in verses 26 - 31 it was clear that he knew he had done what God had wanted him to do.

He had led, taught and prepared the people well for the future so that no matter what trials, tribulations came to the church they would be able to stand against them because they could remember Paul's teaching.

 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God[c]which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

Paul felt at this stage that no-one could hold him accountable for others not knowing the Gospel of Jesus because he had taught everything God had given him to teach.

This is a sobering thought to apply to ourselves

This is a sobering thought to apply to ourselves.

Have we always used the opportunities we have been given 
to share the Gospel?

Have we always used the knowledge we have of God's Word 
to help others from being led astray?

Have we been good witnesses of Jesus 
so that we have no regrets when we have no time left?

Having then gone on to pray for these elders, they say their goodbyes and Paul departs by ship again.

However we need to continue in the following chapters of Acts to see if Paul gets to Jerusalem in time for Pentecost.

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Acts Chapter 19 (contd.) - The Influence of Paul

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Continuing on in chapter 19 of Acts today we move on to see the influence Paul had in three different situations.

We left off in verse 7 with Paul still in Ephesus in Questions are Important  and now we see he spends a lot more time there.

verses 8 - 10

This tells us about the boldness of Paul when he went into the synagogue over a period of 3 months to teach the people.

The result however was that people were hardened to the message and spoke badly of Paul and Christianity so that he and the disciples that were with him moved on to The School of Tyrannus (still in Ephesus) where he stayed for 2 years daily speaking and reasoning about the Lord.  It looks like there may now have been more than Luke, Timothy and Silas as disciples along with Paul from the way the verse is worded.

This led to another result found in verse 10

10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

I think we can say that this was a great result - such a spread of the Gospel.

Perseverance and dedication and the truth bring the right results.

verses 11 - 20

Here now is an instance where we read about the miracles that God did through Paul.  People obviously recognised the power that was at work and sought out healing especially.

But there were others who wanted to try to use this work of the Spirit to benefit themselves even though they were not believers.

It is in this passage that we see how evil spirits can recognise the true power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of the believers in Christ; but there is no power in unbelievers that evil spirits will have to recognise or obey as we read the following in verse 15

15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; 
but who are you?”

The result from this was that the unbelievers were at the power of the evil spirits instead of the other way around.

Do we even realise the authority we have as believers?

What authority do we have?

We need to make sure we do not get the wrong idea here so the best thing to do is check this with other Scripture.  (Remember the Bereans in chapter 17  Daily Scriptures)

Let's look at the Great Commission in Matthew chapter 28 verses 18 - 20

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

All authority has been given to Jesus and so He commands us to go and make disciples with The Holy Spirit in our lives so that we have the power of Jesus still with us.

We are not in charge and we are not powerful the only thing we can do is let the The Holy Spirit work through us as we obey God and tell others about him.

So this altercation between the unbelievers trying to use the name of Paul to do the same miracles that he did was then obviously talked about everywhere in Ephesus but even though it may have seemed like a victory for the devil the result was really that Glory was brought to God.

17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

Great changes were made in peoples lives and nothing stopped the spread of God's Word.

20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

The right influence works wonders.

verses 21 - 41

We are still in Asia with Paul to see some more of his influence here.

21 When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time.

verse 22 mentions two of the people who ministered with Paul so this would agree with the impression from above that there were now more disciples along with Paul than we had previously known about.

Now Paul sends Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia -  an example of 2 people who he has discipled becoming leaders themselves, obviously going to help the believers in Macedonia that we heard about in previous chapters and hence now themselves going to be discipling others.
More of the influence of Paul.

What hint are we having about the future for Paul here?

He feels he should go to Jerusalem again and then later on to Rome.

But for the moment he stays in Ephesus in Asia where it is evident from verse 26 that some people do not like the influence he has had on the people there and in other parts of Asia

26 Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.

There was very widespread influence of Paul here that some people were getting very annoyed and there was a lot of tension in the community.

The silversmiths and others involved in the manufacturing of idols are seeing people believing in Jesus and turning away from the gods they had previously worshipped particularly the Goddess Diana and this was seriously effecting their businesses so there was a riot in Ephesus.

The story of Paul continues......

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Acts Chapter 19 - Questions Are Important.

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Today we are starting into chapter 19 of Acts.

We briefly heard about Apollos in chapter 18 in A Godly Couple (the previous blog post in this series), when Aquila & Priscilla met him and helped him.

It seems as if he and Paul are travelling in different directions and we have no mention of them having met yet.

So today we are back with Paul who now has come back to Ephesus and there meets 12 men who are described as disciples.

But who were they disciples of?

verses 1 - 7

The interesting thing here is that Paul needs to ask some very important questions.

The first one is found in verse 2

He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? 

and in the same verse we have their answer

And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Now I have to mention here that at a certain time in my life if I had been asked this question my answer would not have been too dissimilar to their's.
I was brought up in a church where the work of The Holy Spirit was not taught about in Sunday School or not immediately obvious in the sermons (which I did try to listen to as a young teenager) but I had heard mention of The Holy Spirit in the Bible and at one youth meeting I had gone to in a different church.

So yes I knew there was a Holy Spirit but I was not knowledgeable about the work of The Holy spirit.

These 12 men had no idea at all about the Holy Spirit.
They really were missing out on knowing about the Triune God.

So Paul asks another Question in verse 3

And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? 

and again they answer him in the same verse

And they said, Unto John's baptism.

Perhaps they had been converts from the ministry of Apollos as we read about his lack of full knowledge of the gospel and how Aquila & Priscilla had helped him learn more.

So in verse 4 Paul explained that their baptism was because they had learnt about their need of repentance but they also needed to know about the Saviour who had come after John and was the one they needed to believe in.  (Reminds me once again of that favourite verse of mine in Act 16 v 31 - Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, and all you household.)

We do not know just how much Paul said to them but we do know that after listening to Paul about Jesus there is the correct response and obedience from the 12 men in verse 5

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Obedience is always a sign of true belief.

But Paul did not leave them with just knowledge and understanding of the Holy Spirit about which he had first asked them.

They had now heard the full Gospel but he knew that they needed the experience as well.

And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

What a day for these 12 men

  • Full understanding of the Gospel of Jesus
  • True belief and obedience to God
  • Baptism in the Name of Jesus 
  • Baptism in the Holy Spirit

A great example of the importance of questions and of course the right questions to get the clear picture in all circumstances.  We can never presume what another person thinks or knows or fully understands.

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Acts Chapter 18 - Reactions of People.

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Having completed the 31 Day Blogging Challenge last month I have decided to continue blogging on through the book of Acts but not everyday, probably 2 times a week.

We finished on Day 31  Knowing God having finished chapter 17  noting that God looks for true worship and obedience and that Christianity is not based on works but on the death & resurrection of Jesus.

So on to Acts chapter 18 today.

verses 1 - 4

Paul has come to Corinth (from Athens) which is the first time we see it mentioned in Acts.
We are then introduced to a married couple called Aquila & Priscilla who were originally from Italy but had moved here having had to leave there homeland because they were Jews.

The first thing I thought about was that Paul found people he could easily become friends with because they had two things in common

  • They were Jews
  • They had the same occupation

How do we meet people and become friends?

Exactly the same way through our jobs or through coming from the same background.

When we went to live in America from 1992 - 1995 we first met people through Fred's job there and then through the church we attended.
Then later through our daughter's school and the neighbourhood we lived in.

When we went to live in Belgium from 2004 - 2010 things were different because we were not fluent Flemish or French speakers so a lot of the time we gravitated towards British and American people but in the end had friends from many nationalities due to going to an International Church.

We probably tend to forget that Paul may not have had any contacts in Corinth to go to and it is not easy to arrive anywhere not knowing anyone and settle there.

People always have to provide for themselves and can not always be dependant on others and that is just what Paul did here.  He worked at a skilled job during the week and then on the Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue with Jews and Greeks.

  1. based on logic or good sense.

    "a reasoned judgement"   or   "a reasoned argument"
  2. well expressed, well presented, considered, sensible, intelligent

Something to note here is that Paul did not have to devote all his time to preaching, teaching or indeed studying the scriptures to be able to share about Jesus.  So neither do we, instead we just have to be willing to give up of our weekends or free time from the daily work and provision we are responsible to make for ourselves and family.

It does not say in these few verses that Aquila & Priscilla were Christians but obviously they were friendly and hospitable to Paul and willing to share work with him.

verses 5 - 11

Silas & Timothy have now rejoined Paul after having been left in Berea in Macedonia in Day 30 The Power & Destruction of Envy 

This means they were not in Athens at all and also not with Paul when he met Aquila & Priscilla and worked with them.

We now see Paul being zealous in his proclaiming of Jesus as the Messiah to the Jews but this message was not well received and it specifically states that the Jews were against Paul and blasphemed.

 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 

Paul claims he will not bother to witness to the Jews again but only to the Gentiles.

He obviously took the blasphemy very seriously.

  1. the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.

But even with this happening the next convert we see is the ruler of the synagogue (presumably a Jew) and his household.  This reminds us of other instances of families already covered in Day 19  It's Not About Us, It's All About God  with Cornelius and  Day 26  Believe in the Right Thing  with the Phillippian jailer.

Then we also see "many of the Corinthians" believing and being baptized and they were presumably Gentiles because they were Greeks.

So even when there was opposition to God's Word being preached and the truth of the Gospel being told; God was still working and bringing people to know Him.  

Even today God is still working and bringing people to know Him.

We need to remember this and believe that

Even today when there is opposition to God's Word being preached and the truth of the Gospel being told; God will still be working and bringing people to know Him.  

If you are interested in more of the posts in this series on The Book of Acts please click on the link below and you will find a list & link to all of the posts.

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Knowing God - 31 Days in Acts

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At the end of this blog post the whole 31 Days Challenge will be over.  Some days the blog post has taken a little over an hour to work on but mostly it has taken up to three hours or more so for any blogger who can keep up daily blogging for longer than a month - Good for you!

Yesterday we left chapter 17 at the end of verse 15 so today we will finish off the chapter.

verses 16 - 21

Paul had gone on to Athens ahead of Silas, Timothy and Luke because of the anger incited up against him at the end of  Day 30  The Power & Destruction of Envy

Now we see him getting upset about the idol worship of the people in this city.  He feels so strongly about it that he goes to the synagogue and tries to get the Jews and the Gentile worshippers to see how wrong this is.  We are told he even went into the marketplace each day to talk to people there. 

The people who seemed to take the most notice are the philosophers who just want to always talk and hear about new things and they think that Paul is talking about a new god because he is preaching about the resurrection of Jesus which is unfamiliar to them.

The first thing that stood out to me here was the mention, yet again, of the resurrection being preached about and we have seen this several times before by Peter and others so it appears that the Apostles and other early Christians thought it important that they spoke of the resurrection and indeed could not preach about Salvation without including it.  
We would not have any hope of resurrection ourselves if Jesus had not been resurrected and yes part of our eternal life will involve resurrection for us so it is a main part of our understanding about Salvation.

So the philosophers take Paul to Mars Hill ( Areopagus ) because they want to know what this talk of his is all about.

verses 22 - 34
He starts with something that is familiar to them all which is the altar with the inscription to the 


An altar indicated that they would worship this god, one whom they did not know anything about but Paul directs them straight to God the creator of the world from this.

He explains who the god they don't know is, He's the creator, He is Lord of heaven and earth and everything else but does not dwell in temples that the people have made.
He isn't worshipped by our hard work instead He has formed us all as we are and placed on on this earth so that all men would seek Him and find Him.  He does not need us to do things for Him as we saw in Day 29  What Does God Need?

Because everything we do is made possible by Him

28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 

So the true God is not an idol, not made or formed by man but is alive and is to be worshipped by all when we understand who He is

30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

and He brings us to the knowledge of Him and the understanding that we need to repent of our sins and accept the fact that one day we will face Jesus and we will have no righteousness of our own to be able to stand before Him as He judges the world.  We will have no right to say we have worked for Him if we have not accepted Him as the true and living God because he has not looked for work.

God looks for true worship and obedience.

Then back to the testimony of the resurrection again.

Some people mocked Paul for telling them about the true God the one they felt existed but did not know who He was and perhaps were just happy not knowing so that they could believe whatever they wanted but Paul because He was a believer and was called of God to preach had the responsibility to speak the truth to them.

This should be a challenge to us that no matter what others decide to believe about God, if it is not what the Word of God tells us then we as believers have also the responsibility to tell them the truth.

Remember all of us will stand before Christ one day and we can only depend on one thing 
 - not how we lived our lives 
but who we truly worshipped as our Lord.

Christianity is not based on works but on the death and resurrection of Jesus in our place for the life we are not able to live by ourselves.

Christianity is not based on works but on the death and resurrection of Jesus in our place.

Thank you for joining in so much with me over this past month and for those who have asked if I'm going to continue in Acts the answer is yes, but not on a daily basis.  I will post a few times a week but not feel an obligation to keep to a very rigid schedule.

For anyone who has been reading and realises that they have not known who the true God is or has in the past kept putting off actually becoming a true believer then please click on the short  3 2 1 video at the side of my blog to hear more about the Gospel or contact me for further info.

Also if you have missed any of the days in this series on Acts please click on the link below and you will find a list & link to all of the 31 Days.

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The Power and Destruction of Envy - 31 Days in Acts

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Today then is Day 30 and we are on chapter 17 of Acts.

verses 1-10

Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke are still travelling and have reached Thessalonica.
There is a synagogue there and as we have seen in previous chapters the synagogue is where they go to be able to speak to the Jews of the new location they are in.  So no change here but this time we see that they go there for 3 consecutive Sabbath Days.  It does not tell us that they were greatly received and many were saved straight after the first sermon but rather that they reasoned and explained for 3 different days so people were listening but not necessarily responding immediately.

Doesn't this give us encouragement to know that Paul did not always have a great immediate response from everywhere he went but would sometimes have to wait to see the fruit of sharing Christ with others?  We need to not get disheartened and think we can't do a good enough job when we do not see results like Paul often saw.

So in verse 4 we read that many were saved, some were Jews, a lot were Greeks and some women get a mention here.

However, in verse 5 we see another reaction

But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

Look at the result of envy here.

The meaning of envy:

a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.

Note it does not say that the person has done something wrong to cause this feeling in others.

First of all what were they envious of?  
If we go by the meaning above then they were envious of the qualities Paul and the others had or the way things were happening around them or the good situation they appeared to be in or the way others liked them.
This means they resented Paul & the others and the effect they thought they had on people which was not an effect they themselves had.
There was probably a lot of admiring talk about these visitors and the Jews who had not believed their message grew angry and did some irrational and violent things because of the feelings they allowed to accumulate in their minds.

A lot of harm can be done in any setting whether it be a home, a city, a church, a community, or a workplace when someone becomes envious of another.

Secondly what does envy entail?  


  • brings exaggeration of incidents or actions, 
  • increases associations with people who may have other ulterior motives, 
  • invites gossip, 
  • often involves lies, 
  • incites other people who would otherwise have been happy enough with the situation originally, 
  • spits out accusations 
  • brings on attacks whether physical or verbal.

No-one involved in the situation can come through it unharmed in some way.

Jason is a new person introduced to us now, obviously someone who was hospitable and a believer and because they cannot find Paul and the others, he is ill treated simply for providing a place for the visitors to stay.

Then in verse 7  I think it is very interesting to read

 Jason has harboured them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” 

because it makes me think of the accusations that were actually made of Jesus when the Jewish rulers were inciting the people and having Jesus brought for trial before being crucified.

Thirdly what were the two results of this envy?

verse 9   -   Jason & other believers had to give money to show they are promising that Jason's guests will not be a problem in the city.

verse 10  -  Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke had to leave straight away and go to Berea possibly because the other believers could not trust the mob or the Jews and still feared something would happen to them.

In a situation ruled by envy it is always hard to trust again.

verses 11-15

We can think back to Day 22  Daily Scriptures  when we looked at the verse about the Bereans and see a different attitude here from people who trusted by verifying with scripture and not going by feelings.

However those who had been ruled by envy came to Berea to cause trouble once more and again Paul & Luke had to leave immediately, moving on this time to Athens.  Silas & Timothy were left behind in Berea but Paul wanted them to join him again as soon as possible.

Evil will always want to stop the Gospel being preached.

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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The Call - 31 Days in Acts

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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"  
"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 

Interested to know more about the Book of Acts?
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Empowering People's Lives - 31 Days in Acts

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Day 27 and we are more than halfway through the book of Acts.

Yesterday we reached chapter 16 but just concentrated on one verse (Acts ch. 16 v. 31) and talked about how we need to  Believe in the Right Thing.

Today we are looking at two people we meet for the first time.

Timothy  (verses 1 - 5)

  • Paul met him when he and Silas came to Derbe and Lystra.
  • He is referred to as a disciple. 
  • His mother is a Jewish believer.
  • His father is Greek.
  • There is a good report given of him by the believers in Lystra and Iconium.
  • Paul wanted him to travel on with him and Silas.
  • Paul had Timothy circumcised.

Lydia   (verses 11 - 15)

  • Paul meets her in Philippi.
  • She was a seller of purple cloth. 
  • She was from Thyatira.
  • She worshipped God.
  • She met Paul at a prayer meeting.
  • She listened to Paul speaking.
  • She and her household were baptized.
  • She persuaded Paul, Silas and Timothy to go and stay at her home.

Two believers of different backgrounds, genders and ages.

Both believers and Paul obviously thought highly of each of them.

Looking at the points above this chapter indicates that Timothy was probably young, well-brought up and had been influenced by his mother toward believing in God but because he is described as a disciple it seems that he was devout and wanted to learn more and grow in his faith.  Other believers had taken notice of him and spoken well of him so this would indicate his behaviour, attitude and commitment was good.
Paul obviously trusted Timothy and saw good potential in him because he wanted to take him on with them in their journey.
Paul decided that Timothy should be circumcised which may seem strange due to the decisions made in the previous chapter about the circumcising of Gentiles not being necessary when they became believers.  However although Timothy's father was Greek, his mother was a Jewish believer and hence Timothy was probably considered a Jew who would be travelling with Jews.  Or perhaps there was another explanation but obviously not important for us to know exactly why.

Not all believers are the same, we are all unique.

From what we read about Lydia we see that she was an older woman who had her own business and purple was a colour reserved more for a regal or well-to-do society.  
It states that Lydia worshipped God which reminds us of Day ??  chapter ?? where we read about Cornelius because he was described in a similar way.  As with him and now with Lydia they both needed to meet with someone who could teach them more about following Jesus and influencing their whole household to the full message of the Gospel.  Then we see she was obedient to this message and they were baptized.
She was hospitable and willing to open her home to 3 people to come and not only have a meal but to stay there.

Looking back now to verses 6 - 10 which come between these two meetings with Timothy and Lydia, we see what happened between the two encounters.
Apparently they had hoped to go to preach the Word in Asia but The Holy Spirit stepped in to change their plans.  Instead Paul then had a vision where their new destination was revealed, Macedonia.

“Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 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.

So we can see that meeting up with certain people was done by the leading of The Holy Spirit and not just a casual happening.  God can still lead us to people today even though we may not recognize that happening.

We all need to come to know God and follow Him and let the message of the Gospel empower our lives.

The main thing to see about these two encounters is that even though we are all different and unique we all need to come to know God and follow Him and let the message of the Gospel empower our lives.

Tomorrow we will continue in chapter 16 and see more about why that call came for Paul to go 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 

Interested to know more about the Book of Acts?
Then Try these commentaries

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