Saturday, 1 October 2011

Acts 16

Here's how the study works: Read the chapter mentioned in the heading several times during the week and share any words, thoughts, verses that stood out to you. Having a week for a chapter creates the opportunity to reread it several times and make additional comments as you feel inclined as well as make comments on other people's insights.


Susan said...

v.9-10 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

v.13-14 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

Paul wasn't concerned that in his vision it was a man from Macedonia yet when he gets there he meets a bunch of women. In fact it seems that Paul started the church at Phillipi with mostly women. It probably wasn't what he expected.

Sometimes our guidance doesn't turn out the way we expect either. But it wouldn't be faith if we knew everything in advance.

Susan said...

v. 37 But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.”

Paul wasn’t a passive guy! It seems the authorities expect Paul to go quietly. Often Christians are expected to be door mats and allow others to walk all over them but not Paul. He knew when it was right to speak up.

Susan said...

v.10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Paul must have been pleased to receive this vision. His first plan to go to Cyrus came unstuck when he had a disagreement with Barnabus; his second plan to go to Bithynia had been stopped by the Spirit of Jesus (v.7) but now at last some direction to go to Macedonia.

We have to be patience when we are waiting for guidance.

Susan said...

v.1-3 Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

Paul was aware of the need to train the next generation so he circumcises Timothy. Not because it was necessary for his salvation or sanctification but because it was necessary for him to be effective in ministry to unbelieving Jews.