June 15th – Opportunity Calls

One of the most fascinating encounters between God and people took place on Paul’s third missionary journey through the land we now call Turkey, which was then Asia Minor, consisting of several Roman provinces. Some border officials refused entry to Paul and his party, so taking it as guidance from God he went where the doors opened (believing that the Holy Spirit is in control, and not chance) and found himself at the Port of Troas on the Aegean Sea. There an encounter took place.
During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us”. Acts 16:9
Now from that verse onwards and for a while afterwards, the narrative is written in the first person, and not the third person, as it had been up to that point. Instead of “they travelled; they came; they tried …”, suddenly it is we got, we read and we sailed, concluding that God had called us to preach the Gospel in Europe, for the first time. It goes on “From Troas we put to sea …” and so on. It continues in the first person saying we landed at Neapolis in Roman Macedonia, and we went on to the province’s leading city of Philippi.
It is natural that scholars have concluded that it was Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles – the second volume of his gospel – who met Paul at Troas, and that Luke himself was the man from Macedonia saying to Paul ‘come over and help us’. Thus what we are reading, in this part of the story, is from Luke’s own travel diary. (There are other chunks of this diary embedded in the Acts of the Apostles).
Luke, the Doctor, the writer of the third gospel, probably practised medicine in Philippi before he began his work as a world-wide missionary of Jesus. The encounter between Paul and Luke was no chance meeting.
Paul saw the enormity of the vision and opportunity God was opening to him and the gospel of Christ in Europe. Visions conveyed by men are no less supernatural than those conveyed by heaven’s angels.
After Paul had seen the vision we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:10

A Prayer:
Lord, when you open doors to me this day, give me the vision to go through them in your name.

Now read Acts Chapter 16.

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Thought 4 The Day

No Christian is ever going in the right direction when he has his back to God. (Anon)

Through the year calendar

May 2016
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Click on any previous date in the above calendar to read the relevant Through The Year post
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