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Acts 16 (Today's New International Version)

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Timothy Joins Paul and Silas

1 Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra,1 where a disciple named Timothy2 lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer3 but whose father was a Greek. 2 The believers4 at Lystra and Iconium5 spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.6 4 As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders7 in Jerusalem8 for the people to obey.9 5 So the churches were strengthened10 in the faith and grew daily in numbers.11

Paul's Vision of the Man of Macedonia

6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia12 and Galatia,13 having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.14 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus15 would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.16 9 During the night Paul had a vision17 of a man of Macedonia18 standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we19 got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel20 to them.

Lydia's Conversion in Philippi

11 From Troas21 we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi,22 a Roman colony and the leading city of that districta of Macedonia.23 And we stayed there several days. 13 On the Sabbath24 we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira25 named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart26 to respond to Paul's message. 15 When she and the members of her household27 were baptized,28 she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.

Paul and Silas in Prison

16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer,29 we were met by a female slave who had a spirit30 by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God,31 who are telling you the way to be saved." 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.32 19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money33 was gone, they seized Paul and Silas34 and dragged35 them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar36 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans37 to accept or practice."38 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods.39 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer40 was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.41 25 About midnight42 Paul and Silas43 were praying and singing hymns44 to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.45 At once all the prison doors flew open,46 and everyone's chains came loose.47 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.48 28 But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself ! We are all here!" 29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.49 30 He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"50 31 They replied, "Believe51 in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved52--you and your household."53 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night54 the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.55 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he56 was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God--he and his whole household. 35 When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: "Release those men." 36 The jailer57 told Paul, "The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace."58 37 But Paul said to the officers: "They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens,59 and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out." 38 The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed.60 39 They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city.61 40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house,62 where they met with the believers63 and encouraged them. Then they left.
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