- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read Acts 16
“The Holy Spirit closed one door and opened the other door.”
Chapter 16 records the beginning of Paul’s second missionary journey and how the good news of Jesus Christ crossed from Asia to Europe.
Paul met Timothy at Lystra, and Timothy became Paul’s mission partner later. Why did Paul circumcise Timothy, even though the Council at Jerusalem did not require it to be saved? He wanted to follow Jewish law because Timothy’s father was a Greek. And it was out of his freedom to gain more people to salvation. “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23).
Paul’s vision of Macedonian man —- It was the work of the Holy Spirit that closed the door twice for Paul going to the regions of Asia Minor. But the Holy Spirit opened the door for the good news of Jesus Christ to cross Aegean Sea to Europe. The Holy Spirit worked through Paul, converting Lydia to Christian faith, healing a slave girl, escaping Paul from the prison miraculously, baptizing jailer and his family. And the first church in European continent was established in the city of Philippi. The book of Philippians was Paul’s letter to them.
Why did the Holy Spirit kept Paul from going to Asia Minor? It was God who changed Paul’s plan to fulfill God’s plan. “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). The work of the Holy Spirit has continued to witness of Jesus Christ, in Europe, then crossed Atlantic sea to South and North American continent, then crossed Pacific Sea to Asian continent, then moving forward to Middle East and Africa. And the Holy Spirit works today.
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
- “When God close one door, God opens another door.” What do you experience this in your life?
- Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
- Live it out through the day.