Acts 16

Author

Kim Castro

Scripture

Acts 16

Observation

Acts 16 starts with the continuation of Acts 15 – so I couldn’t just take the one chapter and make observations. There are at least three main stories in this chapter.
· Paul finds Timothy and circumcises him – they go out together
· Vision to go to Macedonia
· Paul’s and Silas’s imprisonment
The writer also changes from third person to first person in this chapter… so confusing. I had to keep going back asking myself who is “he”, “they” and “we”…I am thankful for my study bible that suggests… Acts was written by Luke who was Paul’s companion. So that makes more sense... read the intro in your study bible … it helps.
Timothy joins Paul and Silas and they travel following the Holy Spirits lead. I wondered what Phyrgia and Galatia was like that the HS guided them not to speak, not to share the gospel? Paul has a dream and is called to preach the gospel in Macedonia. They baptize along the way, preach and are imprisoned for casting out a spirit from a slave girl.
It was remarkable how the jailer responded to Paul and his friends in jail – the earthquake came and they stayed. The jailer was saved, baptized and showed compassion to Paul. Paul still wanted to make a point as a Roman who was jailed and didn’t have a trial… The magistrates were alarmed – the bible says. Why didn’t they ever know that Paul and company were Romans? They were escorted appropriately and Paul left when he was ready. Going to encourage Lydia first J …
In true Paul fashion we have a lot to learn from him. His boldness is encouraging.

Application

Paul is known for being bold and for being guided by the Holy Spirit. What is our modern day Jail? How are we casting out daemons? Are we too fearful of criticism, or of not being liked? Not being accepting of others? Paul demonstrates by his example, don’t do life alone, wait on the Spirit, be bold and encouraging. The Jailer and his family and Lydia and hers were moved by these events. Who are we moving by our actions?

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, Abba Father… your mercy is mighty, I am grateful. I am reminded not to go at this life with by my own strength, but by your will and desires. May I hear your Spirit of encouragement as Paul did. Put me in places and urge me to be bold in your name. Thank you for allowing me to be an encourager. Develop this gift as you develop my other gifts in the background. Thank you Lord for your love and your word that shows us living examples of how we should act and respond here on earth. Thank you for opportunities to be bold Lord. I cast out any fears or judgment I may have in the name of Jesus.

5 comments (Add your own)

1. Jim Asselin wrote:
Thanks Kim,
I think that the Gospel is meant to break chains and set slaves free and as believers, as we shine the light of truth, we can expect there to be very real economic consequences. There is a great amount of evil that is driven by money in the world today, and therefor a great deal of money made via evil. I believe one of the outcomes of truth and light is that it breaks the economic chain of evil. No wonder we should expect push back and persecution, the billfold is a very intimate source of security and when that is threatened, people react.
Lord, make me your instrument of blessing - and stumbling, first for myself as you give me spiritual eyes to critique how I spend my resources, and then may you allow me to be the same to the world you have made and love. Help me to set the captives free.

Wed, February 25, 2015 @ 7:42 AM

2. Bob Relyea wrote:
Thanks kim,

I think it's good that you focused on the one application rather than try to cover the whole chapter. I focused on two other parts of the chapter. I was struck by some things in the chapter that we would find surprising:

1) Timothy - in the same paragraph that says Paul was teaching that circumcision was not needed for Gentiles, It says that he had Timothy circumcised for the benefits of the Jews. application: don't let our freedom in Christ be an impediment to others coming to christ.

2) Paul didn't wait for a vision, but went out and preached. The spirit restrained him, and then gave him a vision for macedonia. Paul also kept his normal plan in Philipi (looking for a Jewish gathering), but was flexible with the opportunities that spirit presented itself (no prayer gathering, but some women meeting by the river. Paul went on to share rather than say "well nothing here"). I think this last ties in with kim's application.

bob

Wed, February 25, 2015 @ 8:47 AM

3. Joel King wrote:
Thanks for sharing Kim!

It stuck out to me that Paul both had a plan and was led by the Spirit. In other words, he and his companions made a plan as to where they were going to go and who they were going to share with. They followed this plan until the Holy Spirit told them otherwise. I think to many of us Christians error one way or the other. Many of us don't do anything because we are waiting on specific instructions from the Holy Spirit. In times like these, we need to discern generally what God would have us do and then do the best we can with what we know. However, we also must be careful not to lock God out of our plans. Sometimes we get so focused on the good plan "we" have for God that we stop listening to the Holy Spirit who would have us change direction. In this instance, Paul and his companions show a good balance of both.

Wed, February 25, 2015 @ 9:52 AM

4. Monique Gardner wrote:
I also took note of the fact that Paul circumcised Timothy. It brought to mind when Paul said "to the Jews I have become like a Jew to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law [though I myself am not under the law] so as to win those under the law. I Corinthians 9:20. Paul is Spirit led in all his endeavors.
What "rights" do I need to give up so that I am open to the leading of the Holy Spirit in every aspect of my life.
Dear Heavenly Father please forgive me when I make my rights more important than Your will for me.

Wed, February 25, 2015 @ 12:35 PM

5. Rob Schulze wrote:
Thanks Kim... I'm pondering our modern day jails and the example we have in Paul.

Monique-- great insight and that's such a great verse to capture "what in tarnations was Paul thinking???" as Acts 16:1-4 makes little sense knowing Paul's belief that Gentiles do not need to be circumcised and yet he circumcises Timothy to join him in telling the churches that Gentiles do not need to be circumcised.

Thu, February 26, 2015 @ 9:08 AM

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