After Paul and Barnabas separate over the status of John Mark, Paul decides to take along with him Silas to go and visit the churches he had planted in the provinces of Cilicia and Galatia. During their time there, Paul encounters a young man named Timothy who was a rising star of faith and leadership in that region, and he recruits him to serve on his apostolic team.
The three of them travel Northwest until they reach Troas, a city along the Aegean coast. It is here that an event takes place which changes the path of human history: Paul is led by God to depart Asia and enter Europe, thus paving the way for the Gospel to transform that continent, and ultimately, the nations of the world.
The first city they spend time in is Philippi, where a business woman named Lydia is the first to come to Christ. Her spontaneous offer of hospitality is a remarkable example for every Christian woman today. When persecution to their message arises, Paul and Silas are punished and thrown into jail. Their response of faith and praise to God is exemplary for all of us who find ourselves in trying circumstances. As the story unfolds, we see how God Himself answers their resilient faith and endurance by causing a perfectly timed earthquake.
May God use our time in His word this Sunday to build us up as He did the church in Philippi…