preaching study: acts 16:9-15

In “preaching study” posts, I share study & reflection as I prepare the Sunday message . I welcome interaction in this process, so feel free to share your thoughts. All Scripture quotes are from the NRSV unless otherwise noted. Thanks!
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The text is here: TNIV, NRSV.

I’m preaching our evening contemporary worship on May 13 (5:30pm). The last evening contemporary worship will be the following Sunday, May 20, because we are beginning a contemporary worship service on Sunday mornings (in addition to our 2 traditional services) on September 9. The time off will allow us to plan and prepare for the launch of the new Sunday morning service.

So, this will be my last evening service to preach.

Here’s a rough outline of the passage:

v9-10 – Macedonian Call
— v9 – Call in Paul’s Vision
— v10 – Response of Obedience
v11-25 – Lydia’s Conversion
— v11-12 – Travel Time
— v13-15 – Lydia
—- v13 – Ministry Strategy (time, place, activity, person/s)
—- v14 – Lydia’s receptivity
—- v15 – Lydia’s hospitality

This passage is about being responsive to the activity of God in one’s midst: Paul and his associates following the vision of the Macedonian pleading for their help, Lydia listening eagerly to the gospel of Christ in order to truly know the God she worshipped, Paul and his friends receiving the hospitality of Lydia.

Rich stuff to dig into. I’ll offer more over the next week.

Initial thoughts?

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One thought on “preaching study: acts 16:9-15

  1. I came here to your site to tell you that i used one of your comments from ysmarko’s blog in a critique of some parody videos. Check it out, I’d be interested to hear your feedback.

    As to this post, I haven’t studied this text a ton, but it would seem that this passage does talk about our obedience to God, but it seems to me that this text (as it fits with the rest of Ch 16) shows God’s sovereignty in where Paul preached the gospel. He was forbidden from going to Asia (v.6) and Bithynia (v.7) by God. He is then told where to go, and then he seems to come upon, providentially, Lydia. Then the Bible says that “the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.” (v. 14) God directed Paul’s mission, led him to Lydia, and God enabled her to hear and respond to the gospel. Perhaps it is more about God’s sovereign design with evangelism. That’s my quick read on it, anyway.

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