The story so far
At the end of chapter 15, Peter and Silas have decided to team up and go and spread the good news and strengthen the churches. Chapter 16 walks us through part of this journey.
Reading: Acts 16
In this chapter we read how they travelled from town to town sharing their wisdom and teaching the ways of the Lord.
So, the churches were strengthened in faith and grew daily in numbers
When they arrived in the city of Thyatria they met a lady named Lydia. God opened her heart to Paul’s message and she and her household were baptised.
The story heats up a little when a slave owner took offense to Paul ridding his ‘psychic’ slave of the spirit within her, thus rendering his business bankrupt.
Turmoil, trouble, authorities and jail (a common theme so far in Acts!) fell upon Paul and Silas. Having bean beaten and flogged they find themselves in a secure inner cell with their feet in stocks.
Whoever said following Jesus was easy, right!?
A miracle took place that night. As Paul and Silas were worshipping and praying to God, an earthquake broke the chains of the prisoners. The jailer (now suicidal from his failure) gave his life to God and he and his household were baptised.
He was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole household.
The story closes with Paul and Silas being released, as they audaciously ask for an apology from the magistrates.
There’s so much going on here in this familiar chapter, and so many principles we could learn.
Being convicted in faith, praising God when in a valley, finding hope in a hopeless situation, staying faithful through trial, or even demanding an apology if someone does wrong by you (not sure about that last one)
However, what struck me when reading this chapter was this, the apostles always listened to the Spirit of Jesus when deciding where to go. Visions directed their path and the Holy Spirit even stopped them visiting certain places.
We should pray for the discernment to know where God is guiding us. Staying in tune with the Holy Spirit, so we can follow the path God has for our life.
What would have happened if Paul chose to go another way?
Or what wouldn’t have happened?
Think about Lydia, and the jailer.
Their lives transformed. They found a new, full life in Jesus.
Questions to consider
Are there people in your life that God is stirring your heart towards?
Is there someone you know that needs Jesus in their life?
Who could you invite to Church?
And how intentional are you willing to be to play your part in a miracle salvation?
Will you take this intention to a whole new level?
Contributed by Adam Gregory