The Philippian Church A Turning PointOctober 18, 2010
A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them . . . and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia. . . Acts 16:9-12
Paul had wanted to go to Asia, but the Holy Spirit told him no and sent him to Macedonia instead. Amazing things came from not following a good idea but going with God’s idea. The effective Philippian church began from this missionary journey.
THE TURNING POINT. “A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14). This entrepreneurial woman was the first person to get saved in Europe. Western civilization would be forever changed by her decision.
ANNOYANCES ON THE WAY. Sometimes in the middle of the breakthrough, attack happens. Following the wonderful salvation of Lydia and her entire household, a demon-possessed slave girl started harassing Paul while he was on his way to a prayer meeting. He cast the demon out of her, which angered her masters because her fortune-telling had made them so much money. As a result, Paul and his companions got beaten and thrown in jail.
THE JAILER. While Paul and Silas were singing praises to God, all the prison doors
opened and the chains were unfastened. The jailer assumed everyone had fled and was about to kill himself. Paul, instead of holding this guy in contempt, started to minister to him. “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” (Acts 16:28). God’s presence was so strong that this hard-boiled jailer asked how to be saved. Paul responded with one of the most thunderous sentences throughout the centuries:
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household. Acts 16:31
CONTINUED IMPACT. Like Paul, God wants to use you to be a shock absorber in a troubled world and tell all types of people not to bring harm to themselves. There is a world crying out like the Macedonian man in Paul’s dream. We must be sensitive to the moment we’re in and overcome the invisible barrier of fear to reach our generation. We owe our lives to what this Philippian church did. They funded a furtherance of the gospel in city after city. Just as the hinge point of western civilization is seen in the fruit of Paul’s obedience, so God wants us to be the turning point for our time and see hundreds of millions of people come to Jesus.
Copyright © 2010 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.