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#The Path to One

Daily Reading: (Acts 16:4-10):

“As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers. Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 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.”

They were strengthened in faith/ which is of trust (or confidence) in Christ [instilled in others] is what led to people being saved (Acts 16:5). So, this was a work of the Holy Spirit through individuals helping others put their faith in Jesus.

A part of a growing strengthening walk of trust (Acts 16:5) is to keep moving forward from success to success sometimes through some dry desert like paths.

The Spirit of God refused them (kōlyō) one thing (Acts 16:6). They were refused the very one thing they were sent out to do (Acts 16:6) at the place they thought they needed to be (Bithynia). A closed door, or a stop sign at Bithynia means Gods got something even better in mind leading to your Macedonia.

Although Luke does not mention Ephesus, the chief city of Asia, it seems likely that Paul’s heart was set on proclaiming the gospel there. Ephesus was a great commercial, religious, and cultural center. It made sense to go the route of the beach trees to get to the place where the Gospel would seem to spread the fastest along a busy trade route. However, the Holy Spirit postponed Paul's preaching there. In God's time, Paul went to Ephesus for ministry. He went there near the end of his second missionary journey (Acts 18:19-21) and returned on his third journey as well.

Sometimes you have to be willing to move beyond the glamour and the glitz of the land of beach trees the place you think is best, for the next step to be revealed. The call is to go elsewhere and not until you take that first step of obedience will the next step come. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet. God’s Word will light up your path illuminating your direction. This means happiness is not a destination but Joy is a path that is connected to God’s Word (Jesus) (Psalm 119:105).

Throughout the Book of Acts, the pivotal moments are described as coming from the Spirit. God's strategy for world evangelism was Europe before Asia. Does this mean that God cares more about Macedonia than Bithynians- no. Here is the thing, God’s plan and His timing is perfect. Paul is not the ideal person to reach everyone with the Gospel. Billy Graham was not the best to reach everyone with the Gospel- read about his interaction with President Truman. I am not taking anything away from him. God so loved people in Macedonia and Bithynia that he prevented Paul from going there first. Why? God knew that it was Peter who was better equipped to reach those people see 1 Peter 1:1.

Paul and friends are on their way through Phrygia which signifies "dry"; this being a very dry and sandy country and the region of Galatia. God brought Paul through a dry land (Phrygia) to a place [Macedonia] which means burning adoration. There is a place that God knows if you will bring the Gospel there it will be a place of burning adoration (Macedonia) for the {“Logos” Word/ Jesus} but it might take going through the dry (Phrygia) route to get there.

It is not when things are going well, where your faith is on display and the glory of the Lord is brightly displayed. When all things seem to be going wrong, as you sing in the persecution, that is when you get the attention of those who are imprisoned. Joy in the midst of suffering and sorrow will always get the attention of those around you (Acts 16:25).

But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” A convicted felon is going to run when given the chance. Why because he/she is not free. But a changed life, a life where the Son has already set you free results in a changed reaction. You don’t need to run if you are already free (Acts 16:28).

The path to one led through many. Meaning Paul and company were send to Macedonia to meet Lydia, and the slave girl and the jailer. It was all of them not just one of them. The path to one led through many. Because when I went back up to the vision that God gave Paul 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Plural. Who might the us be? It was all of them.

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