In our fourth week of the study, Power for the World, our missionary friends continued their travels to spread the gospel, hitting some bumps in the road as they went along:
We all need someone in our corner. Paul began to include Timothy in the missionary journeys. Timothy was younger than Paul and loved deeply by Paul. Paul prayed for Timothy constantly as he took note of his genuine faith and giftedness. He encouraged him to fan the gift so that they were developed and used to their fullest potential (2 Timothy 1:6-7). We all have someone in our lives whom we can encourage and affirm. We may only need to look within our homes or families, or [erhapsÂ in our neighborhood or church. But we can encourage someone. All we need to do is take note of them. It is amazing how a little word, a kind compliment, or a note can be carried a long way, often throughout ones’ life.
- Our plans may be different than His. The Holy Spirit not only leads us but at times, He prevents us from going or doing a particular thing. “… the Holy Spirit prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time”
(Acts 16:6b, NLT). We need to daily rely on Him. We may not understand why God changes our plans — even when they are good plans. But we can rest in the fact He knows our beginning and our end. His plans for us are ultimately for our good.
God alone knows every “Where” and “When”. In Acts 16:11-15, we see our friends traveling to several locations. God knew where they needed to be, as well asÂ when they needed to arrive. We were introduced to Lydia, a wealthy woman who sat listening to the words of Paul and are told: “As she sat listening to us, the Lord opened her heart…” (verse 14). God alone works in the hearts, softening them, preparing them to hear and accept the words He place on our tongues to speak.
- We need daily time with God each day. In Acts 16, we discovered a girl following Paul and proclaiming they were men of the Most High God, yet Paul silenced her. He discerned her motives were not pure and of God. We need time with God, before we start our day, in order to have His wisdom and discernment throughout the day.
- God is always at work. We find our friends in prison (Acts 16:25-34), after receiving a severe beating. In an effort to prevent escape, the jailer takes every precaution – putting them into an inner dungeon and in stocks. My commentary states, “As with Christ’s tomb, human effort did not prevent divine intervention” (from the NLT Study Bible). God had his eyes on the jailer and his household. A beating, shackles, and an earthquake were all used by God to bring the gospel message and salvation to them.
Each day we are on a journey with God.
He is orchestrating our days to fulfill His purposes in our lives, and yes,
sometimes in the most unusual ways.
Today I am joining … Inspire Me Monday .