Read Acts 16 – Meet Timothy, Lydia and the jailer, and see how God meets us where we are at.
Timothy is a highly respected believer, son of a Jewish mother and Greek father. Did you find it odd that Paul circumcised him just one chapter after it was determined that circumcision wasn’t necessary? This was done as an act of love to the Jews. They knew Timothy’s father was Greek, therefore, Timothy would not have been circumcised, and the Jews wouldn’t have received him. This was a “know your audience” thing. Later Paul would write, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” 1 Corinthinians 9:22b.
They journey with Silas, and notice how the Lord directs their path. He keeps them out of Asia and Bithynia, and directs them to Macedonia. Check it out on a map if you can; it is quite a journey.
In Macedonia they are directed to a place by the river for prayer on the Sabbath, :13. This hints at the fact there would not have been a Temple in town. But despite this, there is a gathering of women with hearts for God. One woman in particular is Lydia. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Pauls message, and she and her household were baptized. She persuaded Paul and company to stay at her house. Lydia was a woman of strong character, persuasion and means.
Read on to meet the slave with a spirit of divination, who harrasses Paul and company for days. That encounter leads to their arrest, and another miracle, and more souls saved – all for God’s glory!
Beloved, I hope you enjoyed Chapter 16 as much as I did! To me it says our past doesn’t matter. It is never too late to become brand new. It says that things that aren’t fair – like Paul and Silas’s beating and arrest – may happen, but Jesus has purpose that far outweighs the earthly pain.