We continue our study about the early church in the book of Acts this week as we get into Acts 21. I love Acts because the latter church will see more, do more and accomplish more than the former church. We continue to follow Paul’s missionary journey as he journeys back to Jerusalem where his life will be in danger.
Acts 21 After saying farewell to the Ephesian elders, we sailed straight to the island of Cos. The next day we reached Rhodes and then went to Patara. There we boarded a ship sailing for Phoenicia. We sighted the island of Cyprus, passed it on our left, and landed at the harbor of Tyre, in Syria, where the ship was to unload its cargo. We went ashore, found the local believers, and stayed with them a week. These believers prophesied through the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem. When we returned to the ship at the end of the week, the entire congregation, including wives and children, left the city and came down to the shore with us. There we knelt, prayed, 6 and said our farewells. Then we went aboard, and they returned home.
It’s amazing how quickly the gospel was spreading throughout the known world since the day of Pentecost. Christians were popping up seemingly everywhere Paul went. The same should be true today as we help gather the harvest that is so ripe (never has there been so many lost and hurting people as today). The gospel message is powerful and a real relationship with Jesus is contagious. Sometimes the greatest message is preached without a single word being spoken. When our family and friends see the difference salvation has made in our lives they will want to know the secret and the secret is Jesus. We are saved by grace to allow others the opportunity to be saved and it becomes a domino effect. One tells one and then they tell one and they tell one and soon everyone is hearing the good news.
Our focus must remain on the lost. There are so many who have never had an opportunity to even hear the truth about the gospel or about salvation. We must continue to Reach One More!
So Paul ran into a group of new believers in Tyre Syria and he had the opportunity to stay with them and teach them for a week. This week formed a special bond between them and in one of the prayer meetings the Holy Spirit once again warned Paul about going to Jerusalem, that his life would be at risk but Paul continued the journey because he knew this was his lot in life.
After the week was over, the whole group of believers including women and children went down to the ship dock to see Paul off, even kneeling in front of everyone to have a word of prayer for his journey.
The next stop after leaving Tyre was Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed for one day. The next day we went on to Caesarea and stayed at the home of Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven men who had been chosen to distribute food. He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy.
Again we see the spread of the gospel with Paul finding other brothers and sisters in the Lord at Ptolemais. I would have loved to hear some of the conversations of the early Christians with so many of them risking their lives to serve and follow Jesus.
Then after traveling another day by boat, they were in Caesarea and here we see where Philip, who was one of the first seven leaders in the early church, had settled and he had become an evangelist, going from place to place telling everyone about Jesus.
Notice this truth which is such a testimony to the Christian lifestyle of Philip; all four of his unmarried daughters were serving the Lord and being used in the gift of prophecy. I love it when whole families are serving the Lord together.
Our promise is that not only would the Lord save us but He would save our whole household. Pray it, believe it, confess it and watch the Holy Spirit begin to change households.
Revival with Pastor Wendell is coming up in a few weeks so take the next few weeks to seriously fast and pray for your lost loved ones as well as friends and this region. We are believing for a mighty move of the Holy Spirit to change some things.
Prayer Points: Father God in Jesus Name we pray that you would save our whole household and that we would serve the Lord as a family on fire for your Kingdom. Use us as vessels in the harvest field to bring many into your Kingdom in these last days!