Acts – Chapter 16 – Paul’s Second Missionary Journey
Here starts Paul’s second missionary Journey. Paul shows us how to reach out and to minister family salvation.
- Acts 16:1-2 – Paul and Silas go to Derbe and Lystra where they meet a well spoken disciple, Timothy.
- Acts 16:3-7 – Paul circumcised and took Timothy with him to deliver the message of Jerusalem’s elders to the churches in Phrygia, Galatia and Mysia but the Holy Spirit stopped them from going to Asia and Bithynia
- Acts 16:8-10 – Paul had a vision of a Macedonian asking for help and they decided to go to Macedonia
- Acts 16:11-15 – They arrived in Philippi and on the Sabbath, they went to the river side where people went for prayer and spoke to some women. Lydia believed Paul was baptized with all her family and asked Paul to stay in her house
- Acts 16:16-24 – Paul casted out a spirit of divination from a girl who followed them. The masters of the girl brought them before the authorities who commanded them to be beaten and put in prison
- Acts 16:25-27 – At midnight, as they worshiped, an earthquake broke the prison walls and the jailer, thinking that all the prisoners had escaped, wanted to kill himself
- Acts 16:28-30 – Paul reassured him and the jailer asked what he should do to be saved
- Acts 16:31-34 – So the jailer and his family were saved and baptized
- Acts 16:35-21 – Later in the day, news came that the prisoners could be released. So they returned to the house of Lydia, encouraged them and then departed
When Is It OK to Compromise Your Values
Do You Compromise Your Values and Beliefs Under Pressure?
Paul met Timothy and intending to take him on his journey, he circumcised him (Acts 16:3). This is surprising because of
- Paul’s understanding and strong convictions about this topic
- Paul was not a timid personality and fought strongly for his beliefs
- The purpose of his journey was to communicate the decision of the Council of Jerusalem
The reason given is that there were Jews in the region but that seems to contradict Paul’s previous position.
Was that the proper thing to do, or, for making sure that Timothy was accepted, was he compromising?
In my opinion this time, with the intent of “becoming all things to all men, that he might by all means save some” (1 Cor 9:22), Paul compromised his values and position. Was this necessary in light of the requirements established at the Council of Jerusalem?
But this is not the only time Paul compromised on his values. He was a great man of God, but that does not mean that he was perfect or infallible. The Bible reports his actions, not just the good ones.
There are many similar situations today. What do you think you should do? In what circumstances is compromise justified?
Your Part in Your Family Salvation
Both Lydia and the Jailer were saved with all their families (Acts 16:14-15, 30-32). This was the pattern in the New Testament but it does not happen frequently today. Why do you think this is so? Perhaps family relationships were different in those days. Perhaps there was more respect for the head of the family. Whatever the reason, can you do something about family salvation?
I believe you can.
- Don’t expect them to behave like you do, because they don’t know God.
- You are God’s ambassador to them. Let them see God working in you.
- You can learn how to share openly your experience with the members of your family.
- You can learn to be an example of godly behavior and love. They are looking at your behavior and attitude.
- You can pray that their eyes be open.
- You can be sensitive to their needs.
- You can show that you have joy and an abundant life.
- You can show how much you love God and that He is your friend.
- You can show how much God loves you.
- You can refrain from being critical and start treating them as they are open to the gospel.
- You can use your faith to bring them to God.
You can do so many things because if you know Him. God’s grace is in you. What can you do today to reach your family?
Prayer of Faith
Father, I thank you for the wonderful gift of salvation. Guide and empower me to share the life you have given me with the members of my family. Teach me to be loving and sensitive to their needs. They are my first priority.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!
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