Paul and Silas were dragged before the authorities at the marketplace. “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” A mob formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with rods. The next morning the officials told the jailer, “Let those men go!“ The officials were alarmed to learn that they were Roman citizens. They came to the jail and apologized and begged them to leave the city. When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more.
The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength. He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Lydia was a influential woman whom Paul met on his 2nd missionary journey. By today’s standards Lydia would be considered a successful CEO of a multinational fashion business. She sold the very expensive purple dye that could only be used by royalty across the Roman Empire. Despite all her success she still found time to worship, pray, and study the Law, although there was no Synagogue.
Paul introduced Lydia to Jesus, and she, and her entire household came to faith. Lydia’s willingness to associate with people from outside her social rank took courage. During Paul’s time in Philippi, he led a young demon possessed fortune teller and an over zealous ex-military jailor to Christ. Along with Lydia’s household members, this group formed the core of the early church of Philippi which has long been considered by scholars as the most spiritually mature church Paul planted throughout the Roman Empire.
One of the hallmarks of the first century church was it’s amazing diversity. Paul said: There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Sadly, across our nation one of the most segregated hours of the week happens on Sunday morning. Pray for all churches to tear down any barriers that would divide them. Pray for the unity of Rock Point Church.
Find out more about The Courage Campaign and how you can be a part of it.
To learn more about Biblical fasting, check out our Fasting Guide.
If you aren’t currently a part of a home group, but would like to dive deeper into our study on Courage, join us on Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:30pm in the worship center for a large group study on the book of Nehemiah led by Pastor Mark.
In this seven week course, we will dig deeper into the heart of courage and how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
Free childcare is available.