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The Scriptorium

The Leading of the Spirit

He leads us all. We need to follow. Acts 16.6-10

The Gospel to Europe (2)

Pray Psalm 2.7, 8.
“I will declare the decree:
The LORD has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.’”

Sing Psalm 2.7, 8.
(Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High)
Proclaim the message far and wide, that God has exalted the Crucified!
From heav’n He sent us His only Son, Who has for us salvation won!

Read Acts 16.1-10; meditate on verses 6-10.

Preparation
1. Where was Paul trying to go?

2. What happened to him to change his plans?

Meditation

Paul decided to press on to the west or north. He wanted to preach the Gospel beyond where he’d already been – his perpetual wont (2 Cor. 10.15, 16), but he encountered difficulty determining where he ought to go. The Spirit did not allow him to go where he wanted, whether to Asia (in the southeast) or Bithynia. We don’t know how the Spirit made that known. What we do see, however, is Paul’s intense sensitivity to the leading of the Spirit.

Paul received a vision from the Lord of a man urging him to come over to Macedonia, on the European continent, to help folks there. Five centuries later a similar vision would send an escaped British slave named Patrick back to Ireland to be used of God in launching the Celtic Revival (ca 430-800 AD). Sometimes, as God sees fit, such visions are necessary for the ongoing work of Christ.

We note in verse 10 the sudden and unexpected use of the pronoun, “we.” Luke has joined Paul’s team. Did he come from Macedonia to intercept Paul? Did Luke bring the vision of going to Macedonia? Or did he simply run into Paul along the way somewhere? We don’t know. But now our writer begins recording events first hand.

In 333 BC, Alexander the Great crossed the Bosporus from Macedonia to Troy with 50,000 skilled soldiers and a vision of the world under Greek rule. Within 11 years he was dead, and his empire was divided and in decline. Paul and his small troop crossed the Bosporus from Troy to Macedonia with a vision of the Kingdom of God and the resources of God’s Word and Spirit. The rest is history. What vision guides your Christian life? On what resources do you depend for doing the ongoing work of the Lord?

The ongoing work of Christ now begins on the continent of Europe – from Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, the witnesses of the Lord are truly reaching the uttermost parts of the earth.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The leading of the Holy Spirit is a dear and precious gift that has been given to us, His children.

“For this is God, our God forever and ever;
He will be our guide even to death” (Ps. 48.14).

“To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Lk. 1.79).

“…when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (Jn. 16.13, 14).

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
hold me with Thy pow’rful hand;
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more,
feed me till I want no more.
(William Williams, 1745/John Hughes, 1907)

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Rom. 8.14).

For reflection
1. How do you know when the Holy Spirit is leading you to do something?

2. Paul always worked with teams. How important is it that you should have a prayer partner or mission partner to encourage you in your work in your Personal Mission Field?

3. Today, pray the hymn provided above to help prepare you for going into your Personal Mission Field. Sing it throughout the day, as you have opportunity.

We must follow Providence: and whatever we seek to do, if that suffer us not, we ought to submit and believe to be for the best. People greatly need help for their souls, it is their duty to look out for it, and to invite those among them who can help them. And God’s calls must be complied with readily. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Acts 6.6-15

Pray Psalm 2.9-12.
Pray for a worldwide revival among the churches of the Lord, and for a renewal of our witness. Pray that God will open the hearts of multitudes in every nation to worship and serve Him.

Sing Psalm 2.9-12.
(Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High)
To Christ the Lord be given all who humbly embrace Him and on Him call.
Be wise, be warned: His judgment comes to break the prideful, sinful ones.

Rejoice with fear in Jesus’ grace, and worship before His exalted face!
Beware His anger and judgment grim: How blessed are all who rest in Him!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking theScriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.

Are you praying daily for revival, renewal, and awakening in our world? Our book Restore Us! shows you why you should and how you can. It includes prayer guides for personal or group use. You can order a free copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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