Monday 18 May 2015

Bible Book:

“He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.” (v. 34)

Acts 16:16-34 Monday 18 May 2015

Psalm: Psalm 10:1-12


Paul and Silas were in Philippi - a Roman colony where veteransfrom the army were settled. It was an important place, near to thecoast in what is now modern-day Greece. This passage shows Paul'susual pattern of evangelism. There was no possibility of standingon the street corner in a Roman colony - that would have had himand his fellow-preachers dragged off immediately. So Paul usuallylooked for where Jews worshipped - a synagogue if there was one or"a place of prayer" (Acts16:13) - usually just outside the town. That is what he did inPhilippi - found a prayer place near the river where women gatheredto pray. (Were some of these Jewish women married to Greek men or agroup of Gentile god-fearers?)

According to the passage Paul did not have to do much preaching.We read of Lydia whose heart was opened when Paul simply spoke (Acts16:14). Paul must have been knocking on an open door. We readthat Lydia, a wealthy businesswoman was baptized with all herhousehold (Acts 16:15). They were not required to believecertain doctrines - they acknowledged Jesus as Lord and began theirpilgrimage of faith as a household. We then have the odd story ofhow Paul drove a spirit from a girl who had been 'prophesying' andmaking money for her minders. They promptly had Paul and Silasthrown into jail for distorting their business.

When an earthquake opened the doors of the jail and released allthe prisoners, the jailer feared for his life. When he found Pauland Silas just standing there he asked them how he could get out ofthe mess he was in. "Believe in Jesus," he was told (v. 31). Thejailer and his household believed.

To Ponder

  • When you are visiting a new place, especially in a foreigncountry, how do you try to link up with the Christiancommunity?
  • In this passage two households 'believed in Jesus' and werebrought into the Church. To what extent are our processes andpractices for bringing people into the church too complicated? Whatmight we do differently?
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