This week we will be introduced to the people that Paul, the author of the letter to the Philippians, first met when he and his companion, Silas, first went to the city of Philippi. You will read all about them in Acts 16: 6 – 40. So let’s get started.
What an amazing journey! Paul and Silas could never predict what a day would bring. They were confident, however, as they went from town to town preaching and teaching the Good News, that God was going before them and preparing the way. So when Paul became convinced that they should go to Greece (which is in Macedonia), they went to the coast and found a boat that would take them there. By the way, it is just over 500 miles from Jerusalem, where they began their trip, to Philippi. During their previous weeks of travel, while they had already seen so many miracles, they had also experienced serious persecution which no doubt helped to prepare them for what was coming. As they left the shore, they must have had more than a few questions. What do you think some of them might have been?
What a memorable beginning! Where would you have begun when you arrived in the town of Philippi? Perhaps it would have been right where they began – at a small worship service where you might find a few people who would be eager to meet you and to hear your message. However, things did not stay calm and controlled for very long and the rest of the time in that town is a story that no one could have predicted. It is a first-class real life drama for the rest of their visit.
What an incredible response! A professional woman and her family, a jailer and his family, and perhaps a slave girl and some criminals decide to believe in the Lord Jesus. God begins to do His good work in each of them and many others. Ten years later, Paul writes a letter to this church – a letter of encouragement, commending them on their partnership with him through the years and on their faithfulness to Christ even in the middle of suffering and struggles. His words of inspiration must have been so meaningful to them. Little did Paul realize that this letter would be read by believers through the centuries and would continue to be a source of wisdom, comfort and instruction for all of us.