Acts 17:10-15 Divided We Stand

This group of believers was hungry for the word!

When we left the last time Jason and his companions had been forcibly arrested and later released in an effort to get Paul and Silas. Today we will see what became of them that night. We know they weren’t where they were expected to be; at Jason’s house.

The Holy Spirit and/or the community grapevine were able, once again, to warn Paul of what was coming. The new believers in Thessalonica got Paul and Silas out in time to avoid the mob. They sent them to Berea. This was just a short trip around a cove on the Aegean Sea. Not far enough away to keep the group of miscreants from finding out where they were. Read more »

Acts 17:1-9 Another Stop, Another Plot

God hand can still be seen even when angry men get in the way

This is getting to be the theme of Paul’s life! Everywhere he goes things go well for a little while then the Jews get jealous and run him off. Today Paul and Silas visit Thessalonica. This is the beginnings of the church that Paul will write the letters titled I and II Thessalonians. We can say we met them when…

Thessalonica was big enough to have a substantial Jewish community. And as usually accompanies a large Jewish population, there was a synagogue where Paul and Silas started their visit.

Did you notice that it took them three weeks to convince the people of the truth? They were allowed to speak in the synagogue each week. That to me is interesting. Were the Jews who didn’t believe letting Paul have the floor out of courtesy to a traveling disciple? Were they willing to entertain his ideas until they saw how popular they became with the people? Why did they keep quiet for three weeks? Read more »

Acts 16:25-40 Joy and the Broken Chains

When He opens doors, no man can shut them!

This is one of my favorite stories about Paul and Silas. Not because of how they were treated but because of the joy they found in the midst of trouble. Also how God moved on their behalf.

We ended yesterday with Paul and Silas, beaten bloody, thrown into the innermost part of the prison. They weren’t just locked behind a door but put in stocks to keep them in one place. They are cold, in pain, bloody, wearing remnants of their torn garments, and hungry. All because they silenced a demon and sent him packing.

If you are anything like me, the farthest thing from your mind if we were in this situation is singing and praising God. We might be inclined to pray but it would probably be a prayer that went something like this; “God! Get me out of here! And while You are doing that, punish those who put me here.” Read more »

Acts 16:16-24 Under Paul’s Skin

Her future changed in an instant

The last time we met we got to witness Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke as they went to the riverside to find a place of prayer. Today’s story starts with a side note regarding that trip, but it doesn’t end there.

If you are not an only child you can probably come up with a memory where one of your siblings bugged you to the point of exasperation! I can think of MANY in my life. Paul was taken to that point by the young girl in our story.

Luke remarks that while they “going to the place of prayer” this girl first met them. She had an evil spirit that actually benefited those she was enslaved to. This spirit was knew the secrets of others and it shared them with her. She used these secrets in telling other’s fortunes. Her owners made a sizable profit from her knowledge. Read more »

Acts 16:11-15 Lydia Baptized

Lydia meets Paul

Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke head to Macedonia. They hopped on a boat as soon as Paul gave the order to go; that came to him in a vision from the Spirit. Their destination was “Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony” (verse 12).

They didn’t dally on the way there. They moved quickly from one point to the next. They “made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis” (verse 11). We aren’t told how long they stayed at Neopolis but from their other hurried stops; I would guess it wasn’t more than a day. Paul felt urgency in this journey. He had been called to “help” those in Macedonia and he was making haste to do just that. Read more »