Acts 16:1-5-This is the beginning of Paul’s second missionary journey.
Map of Paul’s Missionary Journeys
Paul headed north from Jerusalem...going through Syria and Cilicia..."strengthening the churches" (15:41). He then came to Derbe and Lystra. There he met Timothy (Jewish mother, Gentile father). He was well spoken of by the disciples in Lystra and Icomium. Paul invited Timothy to accompany him...and had him circumcised...because of the Jews who knew his father was a Greek.
Ryrie Study Bible 16:3 circumcised him. The Jerusalem Council had declared that circumcision was not necessary for salvation or for acceptance into the Christian church (15:19), but because of Timothy’s part-Jewish background it seems expedient in his case, in order to enlarge his local usefulness and witnessing. In the case of Gentile Titus, Paul insisted that he not be circumcised (Gal. 2:3).
As they traveled they told the churches what the Apostles had decided concerning Gentile converts. The churches were growing in number and in strength.
Acts 16:6-10-They passed through the regions of Phrygia and Galatia. The Holy Spirit told them to not preach in Asia, to the south...so they continued heading east. Again, the Holy Spirit, led them to continue to the east, to Mysia and to Troas…by not allowing them to go north to Bithynia. In Troas, Paul had a vision at night. He saw a man in Macedonia calling to him to come there. He took this to be God's call for them to preach there.
Acts 16:11-15-They sailed across the Aegean Sea to Neapolis and then went to Philippi, Macedonia (a leading Roman city). On the Sabbath they went outside the city to the riverside...a place where people often gathered for prayer. There, they met some women...among them was Lydia (from Thyatira, who sold purple fabric). She listened and "opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul" (:14). She and her household were baptized. She invited them to stay in her home.
Prayer: Lord, I pray that You would help me to be as in tune with Your Holy Spirit's leading and as responsive to Him as Paul was. Help me to hear Your voice clearly and to know exactly what You would have me to do.