Saturday, May 12, 2012

Acts 16:1-5

Summary retelling of Acts 16:1-5

As Paul and Silas retrace the steps that Paul and Barnabas had taken on the last trip, they come back to the city of Lystra.  Timothy – a man whose mother was a faithful Christian but whose father was not – lived in Lystra.  The Christians in both Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy.  Timothy joins Paul and Silas – having been circumcised in accordance with the Law.  As Paul and his friends went throughout the region they told everyone about the message of the Jerusalem council.  Those who were in the church were strengthened by the message.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Remember that it was in Lystra that Paul was stoned and left for dead, but when the believers came to him he got up as though nothing had happened to him.  After that experience, Paul leaves for a little while, goes home, and when he returns he finds a young Timothy ready to join him in the mission field.  There can be little doubt that Paul’s experience in Lystra spoke volumes to this young Timothy.

Why would watching Paul be stoned and then go on as though nothing happened be impressive to someone else’s faith – especially a young and impressionable person?  Why does overcoming persecution seem to be such a powerful witness to the people around us?  Why must we therefore be careful about our witness at all times?

Second Thought:
Timothy is willing to join Paul and Silas.  This means he’s willing to leave home.  He’s willing to say goodbye to his mother and grandmother – both of whom are very important spiritual mentors in his life.  (See 2 Timothy 1:5)  He is willing to follow someone who can teach him to go more deeply in the faith.

How must have Timothy struggled with his decision to leave home?  What thoughts would’ve helped Timothy know that he was making the right choice to leave his mother and grandmother behind?

Third Thought:
Paul and Silas speak the message of the Jerusalem council.  The faithful people are encouraged by the word.  The unity that was supposed to be created between Jerusalem and Antioch continues to create unity with believers outside of Jerusalem and Antioch.  Genuine spirituality should unite.

Why can this claim be made?  What unites genuinely spiritual people to one another?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 16:6-10
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