God Knows…When I Meet Up with Truth – Part 1
Paul, the brave adventurer, was ready to take truth to farther areas of the civilized world. He also wanted to check on his “garden”—the seeds of truth already planted. Were the new Christians growing?
Paul chose Silas to go with him on this trip. First they headed north to Tarsus, Paul’s hometown (located in what is now Turkey). From there they traveled west to Derbe and Lystra.
In Lystra, Paul met Timothy again, the young fellow who had watched five years earlier when Paul was almost killed by a rock-throwing mob. As time went on, Timothy had become convinced that God wanted him to be a teacher and preacher, too. Now Paul invited Timothy to accompany him on his trip. Timothy was still young, but was willing to learn. The risk of suffering did not stop him. His mother and grandmother had taught him lessons from the Word of God. He was ready to teach others.
Paul, Silas, and Timothy first visited churches that were started on Paul’s first missionary trip. Paul knew that if truth is not lived and shared, it loses its strength. So he wanted to encourage the new members in every way possible to put their love for God and man into action. In Galatia (central Turkey now) they found many people who were happy to find freedom from the slavery of sin. Hearing of Christ’s death proved to them how very much God loved them. They saw Jesus as their only hope.
Over to Europe
Onward the missionaries traveled, across the country to Troas (farther west than the present city of Istanbul, Turkey). Troas was on the coast of the Aegean Sea. There Paul had a vision one night. He saw a man standing before him, urging “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
Macedonia was the northern part of what is now Greece—on the European continent. A doctor named Luke, who wrote the book of Acts, joined Paul, Silas, and Timothy as they answered the Macedonian call. A five-day voyage brought them to Philippi, the main city in that area.
Philippi had no synagogue, so when the Sabbath came, Paul and his friends went to the riverside where there was a place of prayer. Some women were gathered there and Paul spoke to them. A prominent member of the audience was Lydia, a seller of purple cloth. She was a well-to-do business woman from the top of the social scale. Lydia gladly accepted Christ and was baptized with others in her household. She offered the hospitality of her home to Paul and his friends. How they must have appreciated a comfortable place to stay!
At the other end of the social scale in Philippi was a demon-possessed slave girl. Her masters earned a lot of money from her fortune-telling. This girl followed the preachers around for days crying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” Of course what she said was true, but her shouting distracted the people from what the apostles were teaching. Satan was using her to confuse truth and error in the minds of people.
Paul turned to her one day and in the name of Jesus Christ commanded the evil spirit to leave the young woman. In her right mind, able to think for herself, she decided to become a follower of Christ.
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