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The Scriptorium

The Leading of the Spirit

The Spirit leads Paul to Europe.

Acts (14)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

This week’s video is presentation 14 in our study of Acts, and completes the introduction to disciple-making from presentation 13. You can view it by clicking here (scroll down to Lesson 14).

Read and meditate on Acts 16.6-10.
Satisfied that the churches established on his first journey were doing well, and that they had received and were following the directive of the Jerusalem council, Paul decided to press on to the west and north. He wanted to preach the Gospel beyond where he’d already been – his perpetual wont (2 Cor. 10.15, 16), but he encountered a bit of a struggle determining where he ought to go.

For reflection
1.  The Spirit did not allow him to go where he wanted, whether to Asia (in the southeast) or Bithynia. We don’t know exactly how the Spirit blocked Paul’s plans. It could have been something as material as bad weather, a road out, reports of robbers on a particular highway, or lack of resources, translators, or something else. Or it could have been some direct word from the Lord. We don’t know. What are some ways your church’s leaders try to discern the Spirit’s leading for your church?

2.  What we do see, however, is Paul’s intense sensitivity to the leading of the Spirit. Here’s a man who, when he instructs us to walk in the Spirit, we know we ought to listen (Gal. 5.16-23). What does it mean – to use J. I. Packer’s excellent phrase – to “keep in step with the Spirit”?

3.  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). Do you think God still gives such visions in our day? Must they always be visible visions, or can they be of some other kind? Explain.

4. We note in verse 10 the addition of the pronoun, “we.” Luke has joined this group. 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 at first hand. Since Luke was a Greek, what benefit was in this act of bringing him into Paul’s company at this time?

5.  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 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? What about the work of your pastor and church leaders?

The ongoing work of Christ now turns to the continent of Europe – from Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, the witnesses of the Lord are truly reaching the uttermost parts of the earth. How should their example encourage and guide you and your church, as you claim Acts 1.8 for yourself?

Closing Prayer
God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us, Selah
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

Psalm 67

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies in Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. This is the work of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven. Read more about the implications of this work in our new book,
The Kingdom Turn (click here).

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

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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