Day 24 - Concord Student Journey

 Read Acts 16:1-15
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. As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.
Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 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.
11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district[a] of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
13 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. 14 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. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
In Acts chapter 16, we see the apostle Paul and his companions continuing their missionary journey. They meet Timothy, a young disciple, and take him with them on their travels. As they journey through various cities, the Holy Spirit guides them to Philippi, where they encounter Lydia, a God-fearing woman, who becomes the first convert in Europe. Through this passage, we can learn valuable lessons about the Holy Spirit's guidance, the importance of relationships, and the power of God to open hearts and minds.
Lesson 1: The Holy Spirit's Guidance
Throughout this chapter, we see the Holy Spirit guiding Paul and his companions. In verse 6, the Spirit directs them not to preach in Asia. Then in verse 7, the Spirit prevents them from going to Bithynia. Instead, the Spirit leads them to Philippi, where they meet Lydia. This reminds us that the Holy Spirit is still active and guiding us today. We need to be open to the Spirit's leading and trust that God's plans for us are good.
Lesson 2: The Importance of Relationships
When Paul and his companions arrive in Philippi, they meet Lydia, a God-fearing woman. Lydia invites them to stay at her home, and she becomes the first convert in Europe. This passage reminds us of the importance of relationships in our Christian journey. We need to be open to forming relationships with people of all backgrounds and sharing the love of Christ with them.
Lesson 3: The Power of God to Open Hearts and Minds
In verse 14, the Lord opens Lydia's heart to Paul's message, and she and her household are baptized. This shows us that it is not our persuasive words or clever arguments that change hearts but the power of God working through us. As we share the gospel with others, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to open hearts and minds to receive the truth of God's word.
Application Examples:
Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading in your life. Ask God to show you where He wants you to go and what He wants you to do.
Build relationships with people from all backgrounds. Look for opportunities to share the love of Christ with them and invite them into your home and church community.
Trust in God's power to change hearts and minds. As you share the gospel with others, pray for the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts and open their minds to receive the truth.
Reflection Questions:
How can you be more open to the Holy Spirit's leading in your life?
Who is someone in your life that you can build a deeper relationship with and share the love of Christ with?
Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia
Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi


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