Highlights In Today's Reading:
A description of the last part of Paul's 1st and part of his 2nd missionary journey is given. Through much opposition, struggles, and persecutions, the Holy Spirit works through the Apostles as God's plan for the Church "triumphant" emerges. A great multitude . . . of . . . Jews and . . . Greeks believed (14:1).
The Holy Spirit is mentioned about 60 times in the Book of Acts, which is sometimes referred to as the Acts of the Holy Spirit. Paul chose Timothy to go forth with him. . . . And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily (16:3,5). But they were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the Word in Asia (16:6).
Just think, if they had gone east instead of west, the whole story of the Church and civilization would be different today. While Europe and America have been greatly used of God to evangelize the world, China, Japan, and India have remained rooted in "idol worship."
When Paul turned toward Bithynia, once again it is said that the Holy Spirit led Paul to redirect his missionary journey in a vision by sending a man who said to Paul: Come over into Macedonia, and help us (16:9).
Paul recognized the vision was the Holy Spirit, who came to guide the development of the Church and the footsteps of its witnesses (8:29; 10:19; 11:12; 13:2,4). The worldly-minded have their hearts set on better material things.
In striking contrast, the Church in Jerusalem, as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold , And . . . distribution was made unto every man according as he had need (Acts 4:34-35).
No one should always be seeking his own personal welfare, but rather let each one seek the good of others (see I Corinthians 10:24). To illustrate: If a Christian has a home well above average in the nation, Satan will tempt his selfish nature to desire a better one — never satisfied like the rich farmer who planned to build bigger barns (Luke 12:18). Jesus called him a fool (12:20). His dear neighbor was a begger and had nothing.
As the footsteps of Paul, Barnabas, Silas, and others were directed by the Holy Spirit, so are those of all believers who accept and submit to His guidance. Let the absolute and unceasing dependence upon His presence prove that His leadership is all we need (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:16).
Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth (I Corinthians 10:24).
Thought for Today:
Trying to do God's work without the Holy Spirit is like trying to sail a ship without the wind. Nothing happens!
14:2 made their minds evil affected =b> influenced them to be hostile toward Christians; 14:8 impotent =b> weak, helpless, crippled; 15:10 yoke =b> burden.
For Acts 15:16-17: See Amos 9:11-12.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Marian Jordache • Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Official: Secretary Condoleezza Rice (Department of State) • Country: Myanmar (formerly Burma) (48.1 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Burmese and ethnic languages • Limited religious freedom • 87.5% Buddhist; 6% Christian; 4% Muslim (mainly Sunni); 1% animist; .5% Hindu; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and thank God for all His blessings (Psa. 68:19).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Timothy 4:5