Acts 16 Part 2–Big Changes, Big Conversions, and Big Battles

So, the Lord called the team to Macedonia. it was a new adventure far from the other cities they had ministered to.  When they landed in Philippi, the adventure continued.  It is interesting to note that this was the first instance where Luke spoke in the voice of first person.  in verse 11 Luke says WE made a direct voyage to Samothrace and in verse 12, WE remained in the city for several days. That is a significant change in perspective.  Luke was watching events unfold rather than reporting information he had gathered from others. 

 
Paul starts the adventure by leading a top businesswoman in the area to the Lord.  This would be a great thing in the days ahead.  Next, Paul freed a demon possessed girl, but in doing so, he cut off her owner’s income stream.  This, of course, caused much anger and retaliation.  Paul and Silas were beaten and jailed.  What was to happen next would be the beginning of a major revival. 

 
God continues to move and build in His way and time.  If we are faithful, we can be a part of what is happening.  Like Luke, we begin to see His plan in person, not just hear of God’s work from others.  With that, however, comes the spiritual battles that accompany spiritual activities. 

Knowing that, we must arm ourselves through prayer and study.  In addition, we must surround ourselves with fellow travelers to support our journey.  It was no coincidence that Dr. Luke accompanied Paul, Silas, and Timothy.  As Jesus told the crowds, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL these things will be added to you!” Matthew 6:33.


God Bless You


11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the[d] district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

Paul and Silas in Prison

16 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

19 But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. 21 They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

Let’s Get to It–Mark 1 part 4

Jesus preparation was done, his followers were coming aboard and his reputation growing in the community—time to go to work.  Jesus began his ministry by healing the sick and breaking the chains of possession by Satan.  It is quite revealing, however, that along with the highlights on miracles, Mark reports about Jesus’ personal time in prayer. It is no coincidence that after a day of ministry, Jesus headed out to be alone with the Lord.  It was as important to his mission and ministry as was his followers or his miracles.

We often forget that our walk with the Lord is the key to our doings for the Lord.  When we tie our personal relationship to activities and actions, it is easy to stop spending time in the word and in prayer.  But, the time alone with God is the key to successful ministry—Jesus knew that and demonstrated that from the start.  Martin Luther, the priest that started the reformation of the Catholic Church, used to say that because  of his hectic schedule he would have to spend an extra hour in prayer…He understood the nature of warfare.  No matter what is ahead, failure to prepare for battle and to arm yourself properly is a certain recipe for disaster.

Doing ministry and facing trial and temptation is a huge part of the Journey, but, personal time in God’s word and prayer are the critical part of your faith and walk with him.

God Bless You

29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

Jesus Begins–Mark 1 part 2

God’s plan for Jesus was very deliberate.  For thirty years, Jesus grew up, worked and operated as a normal guy.  But at 30, it was time to complete his mission.  He was baptized, filled with the spirit, commissioned by the father and sent into battle.  His first 40 days were completed in the desert.  There he fasted, prayed and went to war with the enemy.  The battle was brutal but God won. Jesus was attended by angels and then he was off to change the world.

God’s plan in our lives is equally deliberate.  We are called, and as we follow him we are prepared for battle.  Like Jesus, we need to prepare for the battle and seek his help as we fight it. Then we must also be ready to minister wherever we go.  Jesus modeled that, lived it and in Matthew 28 called us to do it.  “As you are going, make disciples—baptizing them in the name of the father, son and spirit. Teaching them what I have taught you and remember I am with you always—even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

God Bless You

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[g] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”