Passage: Acts 16
v1-5 - Having parted company with Barnabas, Paul takes on a new protégé named Timothy. Although Paul is on a mission to inform newly formed churches that it's not necessary for new converts to adopt Jewish rules and customs, Paul has Timothy submit to circumcision to remove any possibility of unintended offense (The Church Council's decision (Acts 15) was primarily concerned with Gentile converts who were suddenly expected to conform to Jewish law & customs. Timothy was considered a Jew due to his mother, but because his father was Greek, had never been circumcised).
v6-15 - Paul is called to Macedonia where he meets and introduces a wealthy businesswoman name Lydia to the Lord. Luke begins using first person pronouns in this passage, indicating he's along on this trip.
v16-34 - Paul's preaching and casting out a demon who could predict the future for a price gets them in hot water with the local business community. A mob is formed, and Paul & Silas end up beaten and in prison. Once again, God miraculously delivers His messengers from jail, and in this case the jailer and his family become believers in the process.
v35-40 - After enduring a savage beating and imprisonment Paul pulls out his citizenship card (why didn't he do this before??). Suddenly the authorities change their tune with him, trying to appease Paul as they escort him out of town.
Old Testament Reference -
Jeremiah 20:1-18 tells of another time one of God's messengers was imprisoned. See how many similarities and differences you can spot between Jeremiah's and Paul & Silas' experience.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions. For every comment or reply you post, you will receive an entry for this month's prize. - Congratulations to Jennifer Weg for being January's winner!
What act or attitude of obedience in this chapter is the most meaningful example to you in this chapter of following Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit?
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The 'Most High God, who tells you the way to be saved.' (v17 - isn't it amazing to be quoting a demon as you open your prayer!)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will strengthen your commitment and belief that salvation comes from Jesus (v31)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
We're looking forward to celebrating Communion on Feb 7 at Worthington Christian Reformed Church. As you prepare, consider these words from theologian Herman Bavinck:
First we are to consider by ourselves our sins and the curse due unto them, to the end that we may humble ourselves before God...