Daily Spirit & Word: 586:
The LORD Grows His Church
By; Calling, Guiding and Touching Hearts.
Acts 16 is amazing, it’s fast and furious, moving from one place to the next.
Paul’s Missionary Journey: After The Jerusalem Meeting. Travelling With Timothy and Silas.
Bible Readings: Acts 16:1-15.
1) Timothy Joins Paul and Silas. (Calling)
The Church Grew Daily In Numbers.
Acts 16:1-5 He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek.
2 The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.
3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
4 As they travelled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.
5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.
NOTE: See Paul’s Letters to Timothy. (1 Timothy and 2 Timothy).
Church Grew Daily In Numbers:
When we go out in the Power of God’s Holy Spirit, to share Jesus, to live the Christian life and witness for Jesus, the Church will grow.
Notice: Paul, Silas and Timothy: Travelled from town-to-town delivering decisions: (That’s a reference back to Acts 15 Jerusalem Council: Note what the Council didn’t say: meet every day for Communion, Pray every week, Stand this way or sit that way: There were NO RELIGIOUS RITUALS: NONE!
What did they tell them to do: The Jerusalem Letter: (We actually have it in our Bibles).
Acts 15:23-29 With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.
24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorisation and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. (Become Jewish, get circumcised, live by the Jewish traditions).
25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul—
26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.
28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:
29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
NOTHING Else, nothing about rituals or religious rites. They knew that when a person becomes a follower of Jesus, they’ll be filled with the Holy Spirit, will worship and gather together with the saints regularly and serve the risen Lord as He guides them.
As they delivered the message, they encouraged the brothers and sisters and the Church Grew Daily In Numbers. What was it that made the Church Grow? Encouragement & Strengthened Faith.
Gathering Together: Praying, Praising and Listening to God’s Word: Encourages and Strengthens our Faith.
It grows the church. (People spoke well of Timothy, therefore he was selected by Paul to come and what a journey Timothy had). Imagine: Being invited by Paul (the great Apostle) to come with him to share the Gospel from town to town. What a wonderful privilege that would have been. You can go too. (Every Wednesday We Go OUT to share Jesus on the Streets).
The Lord Grows His Church by Calling: Just as Timothy was called to join Paul and Silas, Is the Lord calling you to serve Him today?
2) The Man of Macedonia. (Guiding).
The Lord Grows His Church by Guiding by the Holy Spirit.
Acts 16:6-10 “Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.
7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.
8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.
9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”
On Friday: I had a meeting with Ministers from other Churches in West Norwood.
It was amazing (Read Yesterday’s Daily Spirit & Word).
But God HIMSELF: Encourages us, when we meet: In Jesus Name: For fellowship, prayer and praise.
He’ll guide us into what it is that He wants us to do.
AND by His Holy Spirit: What He doesn’t want us to do.
Are we listening out for what God wants?
Take a few minutes: to sit and think and pray: Ask God: “Father, what is it that You want me to be doing in my life for you?”
The LORD Grows His Church by Guiding Us by His Holy Spirit: Are we listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit today?
3) Lydia’s Conversion At Philippi (Touching Hearts).
(Note: Read Philippians).
The Lord Grows His Church by Touching Hearts.
Acts 16:11-15 “From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis.
12 From there we travelled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
13 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.
14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.
15 When she and the members of her household were baptised, 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.”
When We Come Together: Gathering for Prayer.
Those ladies gathered regularly at the river to pray. The Place of Prayer.
When Jews didn’t have a Synagogue, the met in open places (normally by a river) to pray.
I’m certain they didn’t expect to meet with God in such a way that day, but God’s ways are amazing.
When we come together, to meet with each other, to pray, to praise Jesus and to worship together. We’re going to be: Strengthened, Encouraged, Lifted. The Holy Spirit will draw us to put MORE faith, trust and commitment in Jesus.
Lydia: The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message: The Gospel.
Lydia: Practised Hospitality: Immediately she came to know Jesus. (That’s an indication that Jesus had touched her heart).
She was a wealthy business woman. Dealer in Purple: Purple Thyatira: Purple Cloth: Made from the shells of fish. A purple (indigo) dye that was very expensive. Purple was a very difficult colour to reproduce, it’s rarity made it expensive, but they’d discovered a way to get it. In some places only the very rich could afford the Purple Cloth.
My friends, when we come together, listen to God’s Word (The Teaching) we’re also going to have our hearts touched by the Lord as He did Lydia. “The Lord Opened Her Heart”… He can open up your heart too.
We all get hard-hearted, but just by coming and being in the hearing of God’s Word can and will open up our hearts to the Lord. He’ll do it.
The Lord Grows His Church by; Touching Hearts: Has the Lord been touching your heart today?
Don’t Neglect The Gathering Together To Praise the LORD.
Hebrews 10:19-25 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.
25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
When we gather: (Calling) God will send us out into the world: With HIS message. (Timothy: Acts 16:1-5)
People will be encouraged, faith will be strengthened and the Church will grow.
When we gather: (Guiding) The Holy Spirit will guide us. (Macedonia: Acts 16:6-10) (Do this, go there, do that or don’t go, don’t do).
We’ll be encouraged and strengthened in our faith: We will grow as Christians, when we grow, the church grows.
When we gather: (Touching Hearts) People will hear the message.(Lydia Acts 16:11-15) God will touch hearts. People will be transformed. And the Church will grow.
The Lord Grows His Church by: Calling, Guiding by the Holy Spirit and by Touching Hearts.
I’m Praying: That He’s calling you, guiding you and touching your heart today.
Have an Awesome Week: Don’t neglect the gathering together of the saints, because you’ll be encouraged, you’ll grow in faith and the Church will grow, because The LORD builds His Church.
Objection: Some people say to us regularly as we go out onto the streets with the Gospel.
“I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to go to church to be a good Christian”
I almost always respond with “Yes you do!”
Why? Because IF you are a Christian, then you’ll want to be obedient to God. He commands that we “Don’t neglect the gathering together”, why? Because when we do, our faith can be shipwrecked.
If you are a real Christian, then you’ll have your “want to” changed, you’ll want to gather together, to; praise, worship, pray, study, listen, encourage, etc… You KNOW that it’s good for you. You KNOW it’s what the LORD wants. You KNOW that you will grow and the Church will grow as you gather with brothers and sisters in Jesus.
Don’t NEGLECT the Gathering Together… The LORD Builds His Church by; Calling, Guiding and Touching Hearts.