Summary: God Reveals His Will to Paul to take another trip
Acts 15:36 – 16:15
Jeff Hughes – October 12, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
a. Paul and Barnabas had returned from Jerusalem with Silas, and ministered there a while in their home church. But one day, Paul felt led by the Spirit to go on another journey, to visit the churches that they had planted before, and encourage them, but also to expand the gospel.
b. Today, we are going to get a look at what is called Paul’s Second Missionary Journey, as we continue through the Book of Acts. But first, let’s pray, and ask the Lord to come and bless the study of His Word this morning.
a. A rock hound named Rob Cutshaw owns a little roadside shop outside Andrews, North Carolina. Like many in the trade, he hunts for rocks, and then sells them to collectors or jewelry makers. He knows enough about rocks to decide which to pick up and sell, but he’s no expert. He leaves the appraising of his rocks to other people. As much as he enjoys the work, it doesn’t always pay the bills. He occasionally moonlights, cutting wood to help put bread on the table.
While on a dig twenty years ago, Rob found a rock he described as "purdy and big." He tried unsuccessfully to sell the specimen, and according to the local paper, kept the rock under his bed or in his closet.
b. He guessed the blue chunk could bring as much as $500 dollars, but he would have taken less if something urgent came up like paying his power bill. That’s how close Rob came to hawking for a few hundred dollars what turned out to be the largest, most valuable sapphire ever found. The blue rock that Rob had abandoned to the darkness of a closet two decades ago -- now known as "The Star of David" sapphire -- weighs nearly a pound, and could easily sell for $2.75 million.
c. You know, the truth is, that there are a lot of people who have something just as valuable in their closet, on their bookshelf, in their chest-of-drawers, or maybe even lying on their coffee table.
d. That treasure is the Bible, and as I study and read the Word each week, I might have a tendency to miss the big gemstones, but the passage we are going to look at this week, I didn’t miss.
e. You see, this week, we get some insight into just how God makes His will for us known to us. People ask this question all the time – maybe some of you here are asking this question – How will I know what’s God’s will is for me? Maybe you’re here and you’re wondering if you should marry this person or that one, or what kind of career path should I choose? Hopefully, by the end of this message, you will get some insight into just how God will let you know.
f. I’m excited this morning! How about you? Our study this morning comes from Acts chapter 15, verse 36, all the way to Acts chapter 16, verse 15. If you don’t have your Bible, just raise your hand, and we can get one to you. Let’s read God Word. Acts chapter 15, starting in verse 36 -
i. 36 Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing." 37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
ii. 1 Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek. 4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily. 6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them. 11 Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. 14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." So she persuaded us.