Gracefully Truthful

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
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Read His Words Before Ours!

Acts 16:11-15

11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

The Original Intent

1) Who are “we” in verse 11?

The book of Acts was written by Luke, a doctor who compiled detailed accounts of the life of Christ and of the early church. 

This part of the book follows the apostle Paul as he travels around, preaching the Gospel.  If we look back at verses 1-5, we see that Timothy was accompanying Paul.  And the word “we” in verse 11 indicates that the author, Luke, was also with Paul on this part of his journey.

The Everyday Application

1) Who are “we” in verse 11?

Paul traveled with people everywhere he went. Some were partners in sharing the gospel, and some were younger men whom Paul was discipling and teaching to preach and teach as he was doing.

We are invited to follow the same model and never do life alone! The importance of community is vital to our journey with Christ! Who are you in community with? Are you discipling someone to go deeper in their faith? Do you have someone to encourage you to go deeper?

The Original Intent

2) Why would they go seeking a place of prayer on the Sabbath day?

Paul sought to take the gospel to all people, but he usually started by preaching Christ to his fellow Jews. 

Thus, he would teach in the synagogues, or in this case, find a place where people gathered to pray, so that he could tell them about Jesus Christ.  In this case, a Gentile woman, Lydia, was also there.

The Everyday Application

2) Why would they go seeking a place of prayer on the Sabbath day?

Paul was a missionary, who was called by God to preach the gospel to the Gentiles and was always looking for opportunities to do just that. 

Many times, we only evangelize the people who find their way to us, but Paul’s example here shows him seeking out places where people might be ready to hear the gospel.  How can you follow Paul’s example?

The Original Intent

3) How was Lydia able to believe, according to verse 14?

Although Lydia was a worshipper of God, she had not yet believed in Christ.  Paul spoke, preaching the Gospel, and Lydia believed, because God opened her heart to understand it.

Her belief in God became a saving faith as she moved from simply acknowledging God, to seeing Him as her personal Savior.

The Everyday Application

3) How was Lydia able to believe, according to verse 14?

Although humans have responsibility to accept Christ, it is clear that God is the one who softens hearts and opens minds to understand.  This takes some of the pressure off of us, when we know that we don’t have to have a polished, sales-pitch gospel presentation in order to bring someone to Christ—because ultimately, it is God who saves them, not us.  But it should compel us to pray for them. 

Think about your unbelieving friends and family members.  Are you pleading with God to open their hearts to Him?

The Original Intent

4) How did Lydia respond, once she was converted?

Two responses are recorded: she was baptized, and she showed hospitality to the men who had preached Christ to her.

The Everyday Application

4) How did Lydia respond, once she was converted?

I love to see how Lydia had immediate, tangible responses to a changed heart.  She was baptized, symbolizing her new life in Christ, and she opened her home in hospitality. 

What was your response, when you first believed?  How did your life immediately change?  Have you identified your new life in Christ before your church?  Have you seen your heart for hospitality grow?

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