Acts 16; Acts 17

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Acts 16

1 Paul came to Derbe and Lystra, where a follower named Timothy lived. Timothy's mother was Jewish and a believer, but his father was a Greek.
2 The believers in Lystra and Iconium respected Timothy and said good things about him.
3 Paul wanted Timothy to travel with him, but all the Jews living in that area knew that Timothy's father was Greek. So Paul circumcised Timothy to please the Jews.
4 Paul and those with him traveled from town to town and gave the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.
5 So the churches became stronger in the faith and grew larger every day.
6 Paul and those with him went through the areas of Phrygia and Galatia since the Holy Spirit did not let them preach the Good News in the country of Asia.
7 When they came near the country of Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not let them.
8 So they passed by Mysia and went to Troas.
9 That night Paul saw in a vision a man from Macedonia. The man stood and begged, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
10 After Paul had seen the vision, we immediately prepared to leave for Macedonia, understanding that God had called us to tell the Good News to those people.
11 We left Troas and sailed straight to the island of Samothrace. The next day we sailed to Neapolis.
12 Then we went by land to Philippi, a Roman colonyn and the leading city in that part of Macedonia. We stayed there for several days.
13 On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate to the river where we thought we would find a special place for prayer. Some women had gathered there, so we sat down and talked with them.
14 One of the listeners was a woman named Lydia from the city of Thyatira whose job was selling purple cloth. She worshiped God, and he opened her mind to pay attention to what Paul was saying.
15 She and all the people in her house were baptized. Then she invited us to her home, saying, "If you think I am truly a believer in the Lord, then come stay in my house." And she persuaded us to stay with her.
16 Once, while we were going to the place for prayer, a servant girl met us. She had a special spiritn in her, and she earned a lot of money for her owners by telling fortunes.
17 This girl followed Paul and us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God. They are telling you how you can be saved."
18 She kept this up for many days. This bothered Paul, so he turned and said to the spirit, "By the power of Jesus Christ, I command you to come out of her!" Immediately, the spirit came out.
19 When the owners of the servant girl saw this, they knew that now they could not use her to make money. So they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the city rulers in the marketplace.
20 They brought Paul and Silas to the Roman rulers and said, "These men are Jews and are making trouble in our city.
21 They are teaching things that are not right for us as Romans to do."
22 The crowd joined the attack against them. The Roman officers tore the clothes of Paul and Silas and had them beaten with rods.
23 Then Paul and Silas were thrown into jail, and the jailer was ordered to guard them carefully.
24 When he heard this order, he put them far inside the jail and pinned their feet down between large blocks of wood.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing songs to God as the other prisoners listened.
26 Suddenly, there was a strong earthquake that shook the foundation of the jail. Then all the doors of the jail broke open, and all the prisoners were freed from their chains.
27 The jailer woke up and saw that the jail doors were open. Thinking that the prisoners had already escaped, he got his sword and was about to kill himself.
28 But Paul shouted, "Don't hurt yourself! We are all here."
29 The jailer told someone to bring a light. Then he ran inside and, shaking with fear, fell down before Paul and Silas.
30 He brought them outside and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?"
31 They said to him, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved -- you and all the people in your house."
32 So Paul and Silas told the message of the Lord to the jailer and all the people in his house.
33 At that hour of the night the jailer took Paul and Silas and washed their wounds. Then he and all his people were baptized immediately.
34 After this the jailer took Paul and Silas home and gave them food. He and his family were very happy because they now believed in God.
35 The next morning, the Roman officers sent the police to tell the jailer, "Let these men go free."
36 The jailer said to Paul, "The officers have sent an order to let you go free. You can leave now. Go in peace."
37 But Paul said to the police, "They beat us in public without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens. And they threw us in jail. Now they want to make us go away quietly. No! Let them come themselves and bring us out."
38 The police told the Roman officers what Paul said. When the officers heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were afraid.
39 So they came and told Paul and Silas they were sorry and took them out of jail and asked them to leave the city.
40 So when they came out of the jail, they went to Lydia's house where they saw some of the believers and encouraged them. Then they left.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Acts 17

1 Paul and Silas traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica where there was a Jewish synagogue.
2 Paul went into the synagogue as he always did, and on each Sabbath day for three weeks, he talked with the Jews about the Scriptures.
3 He explained and proved that the Christ must die and then rise from the dead. He said, "This Jesus I am telling you about is the Christ."
4 Some of the Jews were convinced and joined Paul and Silas, along with many of the Greeks who worshiped God and many of the important women.
5 But the Jews became jealous. So they got some evil men from the marketplace, formed a mob, and started a riot. They ran to Jason's house, looking for Paul and Silas, wanting to bring them out to the people.
6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers to the leaders of the city. The people were yelling, "These people have made trouble everywhere in the world, and now they have come here too!
7 Jason is keeping them in his house. All of them do things against the laws of Caesar, saying there is another king, called Jesus."
8 When the people and the leaders of the city heard these things, they became very upset.
9 They made Jason and the others put up a sum of money. Then they let the believers go free.
10 That same night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea where they went to the Jewish synagogue.
11 These Jews were more willing to listen than the Jews in Thessalonica. The Bereans were eager to hear what Paul and Silas said and studied the Scriptures every day to find out if these things were true.
12 So, many of them believed, as well as many important Greek women and men.
13 But the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, too. So they came there, upsetting the people and making trouble.
14 The believers quickly sent Paul away to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea.
15 The people leading Paul went with him to Athens. Then they carried a message from Paul back to Silas and Timothy for them to come to him as soon as they could.
16 While Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens, he was troubled because he saw that the city was full of idols.
17 In the synagogue, he talked with the Jews and the Greeks who worshiped God. He also talked every day with people in the marketplace.
18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophersn argued with him, saying, "This man doesn't know what he is talking about. What is he trying to say?" Others said, "He seems to be telling us about some other gods," because Paul was telling them about Jesus and his rising from the dead.
19 They got Paul and took him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said, "Please explain to us this new idea you have been teaching.
20 The things you are saying are new to us, and we want to know what this teaching means."
21 (All the people of Athens and those from other countries who lived there always used their time to talk about the newest ideas.)
22 Then Paul stood before the meeting of the Areopagus and said, "People of Athens, I can see you are very religious in all things.
23 As I was going through your city, I saw the objects you worship. I found an altar that had these words written on it: to a god who is not known. You worship a god that you don't know, and this is the God I am telling you about!
24 The God who made the whole world and everything in it is the Lord of the land and the sky. He does not live in temples built by human hands.
25 This God is the One who gives life, breath, and everything else to people. He does not need any help from them; he has everything he needs.
26 God began by making one person, and from him came all the different people who live everywhere in the world. God decided exactly when and where they must live.
27 God wanted them to look for him and perhaps search all around for him and find him, though he is not far from any of us:
28 'We live in him. We walk in him. We are in him.' Some of your own poets have said: 'For we are his children.'
29 Since we are God's children, you must not think that God is like something that people imagine or make from gold, silver, or rock.
30 In the past, people did not understand God, and he ignored this. But now, God tells all people in the world to change their hearts and lives.
31 God has set a day that he will judge all the world with fairness, by the man he chose long ago. And God has proved this to everyone by raising that man from the dead!"
32 When the people heard about Jesus being raised from the dead, some of them laughed. But others said, "We will hear more about this from you later."
33 So Paul went away from them.
34 But some of the people believed Paul and joined him. Among those who believed was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and some others.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.