Unstoppable! 'The Team Heads to Philippi' — Acts 16:9-12

Thursday, August 19, 2021

That night [after the Spirit prevented the mission team from preaching in the province of Asia,] Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" So we* decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.

We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis. From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days.

— Acts 16:9-12 NLT

Key Thought

Led by the Spirit and directed by the vision of the man from Macedonia pleading for the mission team to come and help, the team "concluded" — they discerned and decided — it was God's call for them to go Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10). To their credit, they didn't hesitate once they were convicted. They got on board a vessel and headed straight to Macedonia and away from the Roman province of Asia. The Spirit was leading Paul and his team to a part of what is present-day Europe and to groups of people who would become very dear to Paul — the Philippians and Thessalonians. The events in Philippi were as confirming as they were exciting, but not without significant challenges — a reminder that following the will of God is not always easy and without resistance!

* A careful reader of Acts notices that the famous "We Sections" of Acts. Luke humbly indicates his presence on Paul's mission team by the subtle shift in pronouns from "they" and "them" to "we" and "us" when referring to the mission team — notice the "we" references in bold in today's Scripture reading.

Today's Prayer

O Father, thank you for the bold move that Paul and the mission team demonstrated in obeying the Spirit's leading. I want to obey your will straightforwardly and without hesitation as the Spirit leads. Give me the wisdom to discern your will as I pledge the strength of my will to obey it. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 7:21-29
  • Hebrews 3:6-15

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 16:9-12 NLT — That night [after the Spirit prevented the mission team from preaching in the province of Asia,] Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" So we* decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.

We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis. From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days.

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.