When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. Acts 17:1
Read: Acts 17:1
Listen: Acts 17
Paul’s journey to Thessalonica begins in Troas (Acts 15:8) when he has the vision of a Macedonian man begging him to “come to Macedonia (Asia Minor) and help us.” It is a clear calling from God to preach the gospel there. The first stop is Philippi, where things go well until Paul and Silas are beaten, imprisoned and then asked to leave the city for sharing the gospel.
Where to next? Macedonia is a vast area with many towns. Paul and Silas are still bleeding, tired and sore from the beating in Philippi. Imagine the disappointment of Paul’s companions (Silas, Luke and Timothy) when he bypasses Amphipolis and Apollonia to walk 94 miles to Thessalonica.
Paul isn’t uncaring, but strategic living is what motivates him. Thessalonica is an influential port city. If he could start a Jesus-community there, it would most likely spread. To quote author Kevin Harney, “No is a beautiful word.” It was better for Paul to say “no” to the smaller towns so he could say “yes” to a city that would multiply the gospel. That’s good strategy. It’s not just where you are going, but what you are skipping along the way.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
“How am I making my life count for Jesus?” is a thoughtful question every Jesus-follower should ask. Do I want to spend my life and time getting good at things that don’t matter? Or, do I strategically give my time to God for his eternal purposes? With open heart and hands, ask God to show you when to say “no” so you can say “yes” to eternal things that matter.
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