Unstoppable! 'A Fresh Start' — Acts 16:1

Monday, August 14, 2023

Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek.

— Acts 16:1 NLT

Key Thought

Today, we join Paul on a fresh new journey! Paul and Silas (Acts 15:40) began this missionary journey with the support of the Antioch and Jerusalem churches. On Paul's first missionary journey, John Mark accompanied Barnabas and Paul, probably at Barnabas' suggestion since Mark and Barnabas were related (Colossians 4:10). On this second journey, Paul similarly looked for a younger partner to join the team. The wisdom of having a team of three resonated in Paul's heart,* so Timothy was added to the team (Acts 16:2-3). As their journey unfolded, the spiritual wisdom of having this group, with ties to Jerusalem as well as familiarity with the Gentile world, became apparent. Imagine Paul's excitement with this new beginning so full of anticipation and wonder. Where would the Lord lead them on their journey? What opportunities, challenges, and obstacles would they face? Luke celebrates this new missionary journey as the start of his third section of Acts with the primary focus on missionary efforts for reaching the Gentile world.**

* See the Related Scripture Readings for more on the wisdom of having three partners as well as Paul's love for Timothy.

** Acts: Jesus' Spirit-Empowered Witnesses to the World (Acts 1:8)
Growing into Mission 1.8: chaps. 1-9 — (Focus on Jerusalem) {Time of Peter}
Deciding for Mission 1.8: chaps. 10-15 — (Focus on Antioch) {Time of Transition}
Carrying out Mission 1.8: chaps. 16-28 — (Focus on Ephesus & Rome) {Time of Paul}

Today's Prayer

O, Father, we know that you sent Jesus because you love all people in the world. Jesus, we know that you commissioned us to reach all people of the world with your Good News of grace. Holy Spirit, we now ask that you help us reach all people of the world in our day, just as the Lord promised those early disciples. We want to have a fresh burst of loving outreach to the nations in our day. Please guide, empower, and motivate us for the world's sake. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
  • 1 Timothy 1:1-2, 4:6-16; 2 Timothy 1:1-8, 4:1-9


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Illustration of Acts 16:1 NLT — Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek.

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.