New Testament: Act 16:1-20
16Among other places Paul went to Derbe and Lystra. At the latter place they found a disciple, named Timothy, whose mother was a Jewish woman who was a believer, while his father was a Greek, 2and who was well spoken of by the followers of the Lord in Lystra and Iconium. 3Wishing to take this man with him on his journey, Paul caused him to be circumcised out of consideration for the Jews in that region, for they all knew that his father had been a Greek. 4As they traveled from town to town, they gave the followers the decisions which had been reached by the apostles and church elders at Jerusalem, for them to observe.
5So the churches grew stronger in the faith, and increased in numbers from day to day.
6They next went through the Phrygian district of Galatia, but were restrained by the Holy Spirit from delivering the message in Roman Asia. 7When they reached the borders of Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them. 8Passing through Mysia, they went down to Troas; 9and there one night Paul saw a vision. A Macedonian was standing and appealing to him – ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ 10So, immediately after Paul had seen the vision, we looked for an opportunity to cross over to Macedonia, concluding that God had summoned us to tell the good news to the people there.
11Accordingly we set sail from Troas, and ran before the wind to Samothrace, reaching Neapolis the next day. 12From there we made our way to Philippi, which is the principal city of that part of Macedonia, and also a Roman Settlement.
In that city we spent several days. 13On the Sabbath we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and talked to the women who were gathered there. 14Among them was a woman, named Lydia, belonging to Thyatira, a dealer in purple cloth, who was accustomed to join in the worship of God. The Lord touched this woman’s heart, so that she gave attention to the message delivered by Paul, 15and, when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us to become her guests.
“Since you have shown your conviction,” she said, “that I really am a believer in the Lord, come and stay in my house.” And she insisted on our doing so.
16One day, as we were on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a girl possessed by a divining spirit, who made large profits for her masters by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, calling, “These men are servants of the most high God, and they are bringing you news of a way to salvation.” 18She had been doing this for several days, when Paul, much vexed, turned and said to the spirit within her, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to leave her.” That very moment the spirit left her.
19When her masters saw that there was no hope of further profit from her, they seized Paul and Silas, dragged them into the public square to the authorities, 20and took them before the Magistrates.
Witness Thursday: People can change: Shane O. Wright
Hymn For the Day: Rejoice, ye pure in heart
Author: E. H. Plumptre (1865)
1 Rejoice, O pure in heart,
rejoice, give thanks, and sing;
your festal banner wave on high,
the cross of Christ your King.
Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks, and sing!
2 Bright youth and snow-crowned age,
both men and women, raise
on high your free, exulting song,
declare God's wondrous praise. [Refrain]
3 Still lift your standard high,
still chanting as you go,
from youth to age, by night and day,
in gladness and in woe. [Refrain]
4 At last the march shall end;
the wearied ones shall rest,
the pilgrims reach their home at last,
Jerusalem the blest. [Refrain]
5 Praise God, who reigns on high,
the Lord whom we adore:
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
one God forevermore. [Refrain]