Acts 16:1-21 The Message Bible

Timothy Accompanies Paul and Silas

16 1  Paul came first to Derbe, then Lystra. He found a disciple there by the name of Timothy, son of a devout Jewish mother and Greek father. 2  Friends in Lystra and Iconium all said what a fine young man he was. 3  Paul wanted to recruit him for their mission, but first took him aside and circumcised him so he wouldn't offend the Jews who lived in those parts. They all knew that his father was Greek. 4  As they traveled from town to town, they presented the simple guidelines the Jerusalem apostles and leaders had come up with. 5  That turned out to be most helpful. Day after day the congregations became stronger in faith and larger in size.

Paul's Vision of the Man of Macedonia

6  They went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. 7  So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn't let them go there either. 8  Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas. 9  That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" 10  The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia. All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.

The Imprisonment at Philippi

11  Putting out from the harbor at Troas, we made a straight run for Samothrace. The next day we tied up at New City 12  and walked from there to Philippi, the main city in that part of Macedonia and, even more importantly, a Roman colony. We lingered there several days. 13  On the Sabbath, we left the city and went down along the river where we had heard there was to be a prayer meeting. We took our place with the women who had gathered there and talked with them. 14  One woman, Lydia, was from Thyatira and a dealer in expensive textiles, known to be a God-fearing woman. As she listened with intensity to what was being said, the Master gave her a trusting heart - and she believed! 15  After she was baptized, along with everyone in her household, she said in a surge of hospitality, "If you're confident that I'm in this with you and believe in the Master truly, come home with me and be my guests." We hesitated, but she wouldn't take no for an answer.

16  One day, on our way to the place of prayer, a slave girl ran into us. She was a psychic and, with her fortunetelling, made a lot of money for the people who owned her. 17  She started following Paul around, calling everyone's attention to us by yelling out, "These men are working for the Most High God. They're laying out the road of salvation for you!" 18  She did this for a number of days until Paul, finally fed up with her, turned and commanded the spirit that possessed her, "Out! In the name of Jesus Christ, get out of her!" And it was gone, just like that. 19  When her owners saw that their lucrative little business was suddenly bankrupt, they went after Paul and Silas, roughed them up and dragged them into the market square. Then the police arrested them 20  and pulled them into a court with the accusation, "These men are disturbing the peace - dangerous Jewish agitators 21  subverting our Roman law and order."

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