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Acts 16 (New Living Translation)

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1 Paul and Silas went first to Derbe and then on to Lystra. There they met Timothy, a young disciple whose mother was a Jewish believer, but whose father was a Greek. 2 Timothy was well thought of by the believers a in Lystra and Iconium, 3 so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. In deference to the Jews of the area, he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before they left, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek. 4 Then they went from town to town, explaining the decision regarding the commandments that were to be obeyed, as decided by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew daily in numbers. 6 Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had told them not to go into the province of Asia at that time. 7 Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed for the province of Bithynia, b but again the Spirit of Jesus did not let them go. 8 So instead, they went on through Mysia to the city of Troas. 9 That night Paul had a vision. He saw a man from Macedonia in northern Greece, pleading with him, "Come over here and help us." 10 So we c decided to leave for Macedonia at once, for we could only conclude that God was calling us to preach the Good News there. 11 We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis. 12 From there we reached Philippi, a major city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony; we stayed there several days. 13 On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we supposed that some people met for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had come together. 14 One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. 15 She was baptized along with other members of her household, and she asked us to be her guests. "If you agree that I am faithful to the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my home." And she urged us until we did. 16 One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl. She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters. 17 She followed along behind us shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved." 18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and spoke to the demon within her. "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her," he said. And instantly it left her. 19 Her masters' hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. 20 "The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!" they shouted. 21 "They are teaching the people to do things that are against Roman customs." 22 A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23 They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn't escape. 24 So he took no chances but put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. 25 Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a great earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! 27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted to him, "Don't do it! We are all here!" 29 Trembling with fear, the jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 He brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 They replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with your entire household." 32 Then they shared the word of the Lord with him and all who lived in his household. 33 That same hour the jailer washed their wounds, and he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 Then he brought them into his house and set a meal before them. He and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God. 35 The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, "Let those men go!" 36 So the jailer told Paul, "You and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace." 37 But Paul replied, "They have publicly beaten us without trial and jailed us -- and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!" 38 When the police made their report, the city officials were alarmed to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39 They came to the jail and apologized to them. Then they brought them out and begged them to leave the city. 40 Paul and Silas then returned to the home of Lydia, where they met with the believers and encouraged them once more before leaving town.
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