Scripture to Memorize: Acts 16:31
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Day 1 Read: Acts 16:1-15
Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.
6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. 8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
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 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.
Reflect: How do you think Paul might have felt after twice being prevented from carrying out his intentions (vv. 6-7)? What does Paul and his companions’ response to the Macedonian man’s request indicate about their basic ministry purpose?
Consider: Perhaps the best thing that happened at Lystra was the enlistment of Timothy to replace John Mark as Paul’s special assistant. Timothy was probably converted through Paul’s ministry when the apostle first visited Lystra, for Paul called him “my beloved son” (1 Cor. 4:17) and “my own son in the faith” (1 Tim. 1:2). Timothy’s mother and grandmother had prepared the way for his decision by being the first in the family to trust Christ (2 Tim. 1:5). Young Timothy undoubtedly witnessed Paul’s sufferings in Lystra (Acts 14:19–20; 2 Tim. 3:10–11) and was drawn by the Lord to the apostle. Timothy was Paul’s favorite companion and coworker (Phil. 2:19–23), perhaps the son Paul never had but always wanted.1
Respond: Have you ever been frustrated by the Holy Spirit’s leading in your life because it seemed to contradict your plans? If so, explain.
What impact might that experience have had on Paul’s faith? How do such experiences shape our faith? What does verse 14 reveal about our role in sharing the gospel with others? How does this truth impact your feelings about evangelism?
1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 466.