16 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.
6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. 8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- v1-2 Timothy’s mother was Jewish and a believer, but his father was Greek. It must have been his mother’s influence and nurturing, which led the believers to speak highly of him. Likewise, we should ensure our day to day living is a powerful witness, so that the next generation of believers might be equally impacted.
- v.4-5 As Paul and Timothy travelled to different cities, they took the decisions made by the apostles and elders to the disciples for them to obey, strengthening their faith, and increasing the number of believers. As church leaders or pastors, we should diligently take the word of God in order to teach and guide our brothers and sisters, in order to help the church grow in spirit and in numbers.
- v. 6-8 Paul and Timothy were obedient to the Spirit’s leading, and travelled to Troas. As those who walk with the Lord, we should allow the Spirit to guide and lead us in all things.
- v. 10-11 Paul saw a vision to immediately head to Macedonia. Under the guidance of the Spirit, Paul knew that God was calling them to preach the gospel in Macedonia, so they immediately set sail for Macedonia.
- v.14-15 Lydia worshipped the Lord, but her knowledge was not extensive. As she was listening to Paul’s preaching, the Holy Spirit opened her heart, guiding her to listen intently, so that her entire family was baptised. When we listen to the gospel, are we allowing God to open our hearts and His words to enter them, in order to renew and change us?
submitted by Man Wah Lee
PRAYING IN FAITH
Pray that God may allow us to be good witnesses at home, to enable our children and family to know that our faith is true and not in vain.
For Your Five
Pray for your five, that God may teach our church leaders and pastors to preach the word of God clearly to our brothers and sisters, to enable spiritual growth in the church.
For Our Church
Pray that God will enable our church to become one that is led by the Spirit’s guidance and leadership. Pray that God will allow the church to share the same vision and know God’s heart, so that the gospel may thrive.