#DailyDevotion Come Over Here & Help Us
Act 16:9-12 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” (10) And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. (11) So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, (12) and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days.
Now the Lord would now and then show something to the apostles to guide them in their ministry. He showed Peter the vision of the unclean and common animals to get him to drop custom of the Jews not associating with Gentiles (which was never God’s will in the Mosaic Law). Now he is moving Paul from Asia Minor into the Greece peninsula. Of course, Paul had seen the risen Lord in a vision before he came to faith in him.
Now we all often wish that God would speak to us in a vision and give guidance to us. Well it isn’t the normal way he guides our lives. He may however give us desires and talents and even put people in our lives that can see better than us a direction and a vocation we may take. If you do see a vision or a dream and thinks it’s from God, you may want to ask yourself a couple of questions. You may ask yourself if it is teaching you some new teaching the Church has never taught or it has already condemned as false or denies something clearly taught in the scriptures. If it did, it isn’t from God. Is the vision asking you to do something clearly forbidden in the Scriptures? If it did, it’s not from God. However if the vision, dream or feeling doesn’t go against the Scriptures, teach something new or is not telling you to do something opposed to God’s revealed will, well you can certainly try it if you want.
Now Paul, being an apostle, has a discerning spirit to guide him. He concluded God had called him to preach the gospel to the Macedonians. So he left Asia Minor. He was guided to go to Philippi which as a leading city there and a Roman colony. It was an interesting choice. It was a Roman colony settled by retired Roman soldiers. As a Roman colony, Paul’s Roman citizenship would have a lot of pull there. As a leading city, it would have lots of people to preach the gospel to.
Now what is the gospel that Paul would preach there? Well it would be the same gospel he preached everywhere else, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, dead, buried and risen from the dead. He has ascended to the right hand of the Father. What does this mean? It means our sins, though many, have been atoned for by Jesus’ death. His resurrection from the dead proclaims we have been justified by God the Father. He promises the resurrection to eternal life to all who believe this good news no matter what language, tribe, nation and people they are from. God the Father has reconciled himself to them, no longer counting their trespasses against them for the sake of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection. He calls us to be reconciled to God through Jesus’ work. Jesus has taken our guilt and shame and clothed us with his righteousness, holiness and glory. It is this message he proclaimed in the Philippi jailer’s house and brought them to faith. It is the message he wants you to hear and believe as well. God has reconciled himself to for Christ’s sake. Be reconciled to him today and believe the good news.
Heavenly Father, so change our hearts that we may hear the good news of Jesus Christ, believe on him, receive the gift of eternal life and be raised with him on the day of his revelation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.