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Acts 16 (GOD'S WORD Translation)

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1 Paul arrived in the city of Derbe and then went to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived. Timothy's mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was Greek. 2 The believers in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to go with him. So he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in those places and because he knew that Timothy's father was Greek. 4 As they went through the cities, they told people about the decisions that the apostles and spiritual leaders in Jerusalem had made for the people. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew in numbers every day. 6 Paul and Silas went through the regions of Phrygia and Galatia because the Holy Spirit kept them from speaking the word in the province of Asia. 7 They went to the province of Mysia and tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn't allow this. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went to the city of Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia. The man urged Paul, "Come to Macedonia to help us." 10 As soon as Paul had seen the vision, we immediately looked for a way to go to Macedonia. We concluded that God had called us to tell the people of Macedonia about the Good News. 11 So we took a ship from Troas and sailed straight to the island of Samothrace. The next day we sailed to the city of Neapolis, 12 and from there we went to the city of Philippi. Philippi is a leading city in that part of Macedonia, and it is a Roman colony. We were in this city for a number of days. 13 On the day of worship we went out of the city to a place along the river where we thought Jewish people gathered for prayer. We sat down and began talking to the women who had gathered there. 14 A woman named Lydia was present. She was a convert to Judaism from the city of Thyatira and sold purple dye for a living. She was listening because the Lord made her willing to pay attention to what Paul said. 15 When Lydia and her family were baptized, she invited us to stay at her home. She said, "If you're convinced that I believe in the Lord, then stay at my home." She insisted. So we did. 16 One day when we were going to the place of prayer, a female servant met us. She was possessed by an evil spirit that told fortunes. She made a lot of money for her owners by telling fortunes. 17 She used to follow Paul and shout, "These men are servants of the Most High God. They're telling you how you can be saved." 18 She kept doing this for many days. Paul became annoyed, turned to the evil spirit, and said, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" As Paul said this, the evil spirit left her. 19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them to the authorities in the public square. 20 In front of the Roman officials, they said, "These men are stirring up a lot of trouble in our city. They're Jews, 21 and they're advocating customs that we can't accept or practice as Roman citizens." 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas. Then the officials tore the clothes off Paul and Silas and ordered [the guards] to beat them with sticks. 23 After they had hit Paul and Silas many times, they threw them in jail and ordered the jailer to keep them under tight security. 24 So the jailer followed these orders and put Paul and Silas into solitary confinement with their feet in leg irons. 25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God. The other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly, a violent earthquake shook the foundations of the jail. All the doors immediately flew open, and all the prisoners' chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up and saw the prison doors open. Thinking the prisoners had escaped, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted as loudly as he could, "Don't hurt yourself! We're all here!" 29 The jailer asked for torches and rushed into the jail. He was trembling as he knelt in front of Paul and Silas. 30 Then he took Paul and Silas outside and asked, "Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved?" 31 They answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will be saved." 32 They spoke the Lord's word to the jailer and everyone in his home. 33 At that hour of the night, the jailer washed Paul and Silas' wounds. The jailer and his entire family were baptized immediately. 34 He took Paul and Silas upstairs into his home and gave them something to eat. He and his family were thrilled to be believers in God. 35 In the morning the Roman officials sent guards who told the jailer, "You can release those men now." 36 The jailer reported this order to Paul by saying, "The officials have sent word to release you. So you can leave peacefully now." 37 But Paul told the guards, "Roman officials have had us beaten publicly without a trial and have thrown us in jail, even though we're Roman citizens. Now are they going to throw us out secretly? There's no way they're going to get away with that! Have them escort us out!" 38 The guards reported to the officials what Paul had said. When the Roman officials heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were afraid. 39 So the officials went to the jail and apologized to Paul and Silas. As the officials escorted Paul and Silas out of the jail, they asked them to leave the city. 40 After Paul and Silas left the jail, they went to Lydia's house. They met with the believers, encouraged them, and then left.
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