Acts 16:1-21New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Timothy Joins Paul and Silas
16 Paul came to Derbe. Then he went on to Lystra. A believer named Timothy lived there. His mother was Jewish and a believer. His father was a Greek. 2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium said good things about Timothy. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey. So he circumcised Timothy because of the Jews who lived in that area. They all knew that Timothy’s father was a Greek. 4 Paul and his companions traveled from town to town. They reported what the apostles and elders in Jerusalem had decided. The people were supposed to obey what was in the report. 5 So the churches were made strong in the faith. The number of believers grew every day.
Paul’s Vision of the Man From Macedonia
6 Paul and his companions traveled all through the area of Phrygia and Galatia. The Holy Spirit had kept them from preaching the word in Asia Minor. 7 They came to the border of Mysia. From there they tried to enter Bithynia. But the Spirit of Jesus would not let them. 8 So they passed by Mysia. Then they went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision. He saw a man from Macedonia standing and begging him. “Come over to Macedonia!” the man said. “Help us!” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia. We decided that God had called us to preach the good news there.
Lydia Becomes a Believer in Philippi
11 At Troas we got into a boat. We sailed straight for Samothrace. The next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony. It is an important city in that part of Macedonia. We stayed there several days.
13 On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate. We walked down to the river. There we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered together. 14 One of the women listening was from the city of Thyatira. Her name was Lydia, and her business was selling purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to accept Paul’s message. 15 She and her family were baptized. Then she invited us to her home. “Do you consider me a believer in the Lord?” she asked. “If you do, come and stay at my house.” She succeeded in getting us to go home with her.
Paul and Silas Are Thrown Into Prison
16 One day we were going to the place of prayer. On the way we were met by a female slave. She had a spirit that helped her tell people what was going to happen. She earned a lot of money for her owners by doing this. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us around. She shouted, “These men serve the Most High God. They are telling you how to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became upset. Turning around, he spoke to the spirit that was in her. “In the name of Jesus Christ,” he said, “I command you to come out of her!” At that very moment the spirit left the woman.
19 Her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone. So they grabbed Paul and Silas. They dragged them into the market place to face the authorities. 20 They brought them to the judges. “These men are Jews,” her owners said. “They are making trouble in our city. 21 They are suggesting practices that are against Roman law. These are practices we can’t accept or take part in.”
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