- SCRIPTURE READNG: Acts 16:6-40.
- 1. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LEADING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
- 2. WHEN THE LORD OPENS A DOOR OF SERVICE, HE WILL PREPARE HEARTS.
- 3. WHEN THE LORD OPENS A DOOR, WE CAN TRUST HIM TO WORK WITH US CONFIRMING HIS WORD.
- 4. WHEN THE LORD OPENS A DOOR, THERE WILL BE SPIRITUAL OPPOSITION.
- 5. WHEN THE LORD OPENS A DOOR, WE SHOULD EXPECT FRUIT THAT REMAINS.
SCRIPTURE READNG: Acts 16:6-40.#
“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.”Acts 16:9
As we study Acts 16, we can learn some important spiritual lessons about what happens when the Lord opens a door of opportunity before us.
1. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LEADING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. #
Paul and his team had been traveling through the churches, ministering to them. As a result, the “churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in number daily.”—Acts 16: 5
In the same way, today Holy Spirit anointed and led ministry should result in the churches being strengthened in the faith and spiritual growth. The Holy Spirit did not permit Paul and his team to preach the word in Asia nor in Bithynia at that time (Acts 16:6, 7), so they traveled on to Troas… “Where 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. 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.”
In this passage of Scripture, we see the importance of being led by the Holy Spirit in our service for the Lord. The words “concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them,” seems to indicate that Paul and his team must have consulted together, considered all the facts, and reached the conclusion that the Lord was indeed calling them to go into Macedonia and preach the gospel to them.
When the Lord closes one door, it may well be that he will open another door of service before us. We need to learn to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We also need to learn to be open ‘to wise, godly counsel.’ Compare Proverbs 11:14; 24:6.
The Lord of the harvest is still calling workers to go forth into the ripened spiritual harvest to reap. Are we willing to say, as Isaiah did, “Here am I, send me”? Compare Isaiah 6:8; Matthew 9:36-38; John 4:34-38.
In our ministry today it is so very important to be led by the Holy Spirit. It is also scriptural to consult with others who are spiritually-minded.
2. WHEN THE LORD OPENS A DOOR OF SERVICE, HE WILL PREPARE HEARTS. #
In verses 13 to 15, we read of a woman named Lydia: that “the Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 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.”
The Lord had been preparing Lydia for the truth of the gospel of Jesus
Christ which Paul and his team preached to her and she and her whole family believed the gospel and were baptized. She then opened her home as well, and this is where the new church began to meet; and as far as we know, this newly established church at Philippi may have been the first church to be established in Europe.
3. WHEN THE LORD OPENS A DOOR, WE CAN TRUST HIM TO WORK WITH US CONFIRMING HIS WORD. #
In verses 16 to 18, we read of a “slave girl who was possessed with a spirit of divination”, who was set free from her bondage in the name of Jesus Christ, under the ministry of Paul.
In the Great Commission of our Lord, He promised that demons would be cast out in His name. We also read that “the Lord worked with them confirming the word with signs following” Mark 16:15-20.
4. WHEN THE LORD OPENS A DOOR, THERE WILL BE SPIRITUAL OPPOSITION. #
We read in the passage before us in Acts 16 that because of the slave girl being set free from the spirit of divination (fortune-telling), persecution broke out against Paul and Silas and they were arrested, beaten, falsely accused, and thrown into prison. But they remained victorious in Christ.
The devil was mad and was stirring up opposition against Paul and his team. But as Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God, the Lord did a mighty miracle for them and set them free, brought great conviction on the jailer resulting in his conversion to Christ. Satan always resists and opposes the proclamation and advancement of the Gospel of Christ, especially in new areas, among unreached people. But through Christ, we will be victorious.
In 1 Corinthians 16:9, Paul stated, “for a great and effective door has been opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
When the Lord opens a door before us today, the devil will stir up resistance and sometimes even persecution. But through the Lord Jesus Christ, we can remain more than conquerors. Romans 8:37-39
5. WHEN THE LORD OPENS A DOOR, WE SHOULD EXPECT FRUIT THAT REMAINS. #
As we study the passage before us in Acts 16, we find the Lord working with Paul and his team by his Spirit confirming the word and bringing conviction and drawing lost souls to faith in Jesus. They then followed the Lord in the waters of baptism.
First Lydia and her household believed and were baptized; then the slave girl was delivered from demons.
Then the Jailer and his household believed in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord and were baptized in water. A Church was established in Philippi, and the gospel spread from there throughout Macedonia and to other points in Europe.
There was fruit that remained. This church later helped to support Paul in his ministry as he ministered in other new places. We read this in the letter which Paul later wrote to this church. Read Philippians 1:3-6 and 4:14-19.
The Lord Jesus said in John 15:16; “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain.”
As we go forth with the message of the Gospel of Christ, let us trust the Lord to work by His Spirit and give us fruit that remains’.
In Revelation 3:7-8 the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church said that he has the keys and opens and closes doors. He then stated, “I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it!”
We believe that Jesus Christ the Lord of the harvest and head of the church is also opening doors of opportunity before the Church of today.
Let us go through these doors with the transforming message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord will work with us confirming his word and will draw precious lost souls to himself to be saved, giving us fruit that remains.
Word in Season – Lloyd Schuetz
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