Daily Word

Acts 17

Read Acts 17 – Courageous, discerning and wise… these are some of the traits Paul, Silas, Timothy, Jason and the believers in Thessalonica, Berea and Athens illustrated.  May I confess?  I came to Christ as a skeptical non-believer.  I thought Christians were the exact opposite of what we read about here.  I had questions with an underlying sneer of superiority.  Paul reached out to people like me in these places.  He risked and suffered greatly to get the Truth out. 

I love what he discovered in Berea, people who were eager for truth and searched the Scriptures daily to see if things were as Paul said, :11.  Many believed, but the haters from Thessalonica learned this; they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds, :13. 

The believers escorted Paul to Athens.  There he walked about town and saw all kinds of statues commemorating various gods.  He even saw one dedicated to the unknown god, and that was an open door.  Verse :23 shows us how he met the locals where they were at and introduced Jesus.  It’s a beautiful, wise and honoring way to help his audience receive the Good News.  The mission was highly successful, and good seeds were planted. 

Beloved, do you still have questions?  What is in the way of your whole and complete surrender?  Nothing is grounded in truth like Jesus.  The bible can stand up to your questions because it is God’s true Word.  And when you find yourself on solid ground, tell others!

Daily Word

Acts 16

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.