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Acts Reading Plan | Week 12 | Day 3
Take a moment to be silent and still. In order to be fully present in body and mind, take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Do this three times.
Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” As you come to God today, you may be facing an impossible situation or trials that are testing your faith tremendously. Give Him your doubts and fears today and ask Him to be the strength of your heart.
Bible Reading: Acts 16:11-15
Read these verses three times slowly.
From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
Reflection & Questions
In today’s reading, Paul and his companions are following the Spirit’s lead as they head to a town called Philippi, in Macedonia. As we will see over the next few days, there’s a significant move of God in Philippi and Paul plants a church there. He later would write a letter to this church that we call Phillppians.
As Paul and his companions begin witnessing in Philippi, they first look for those who would be open to the message. There’s a place of prayer on the edge of the city and there they find a group of women who listen to them as they share the good news. We’re told of Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth (which tells us she was probably wealthy), who was a worshiper of God. “The Lord opened her heart” to the gospel. She and her household were baptized and she invited Paul and his companions to stay at her house. This was an amazing opportunity, as staying in the home of a wealthy person, who was no doubt well known in the city, gave them a strategic place from which to reach the city with the gospel.
We’re starting to see why the Spirit led them to Philippi. There’s a big work God is going to do in this town. Lydia’s conversion was just the beginning. This is the beautiful thing about being led by the Spirit. Usually, He won’t give us reasons or any indication beyond what to do except for the next move. But as we follow in step with Him, He uses us in ways we could never have imagined.
- How did God work in opening your heart to the gospel? Who did He use? How did He prepare you for that moment?
- Why do you think the Spirit doesn’t usually give us the whole plan, but just the next move?
Thank God for His goodness to you in opening your heart to the gospel. Ask Him to continue to guide you and to help you keep in step with Him.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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