Set 16: The Travels of Paul

This section of readings begins with the conversion of Saul to Paul, one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. It is dramatic, detailed, and exciting, and we as Christians also love it as direct evidence of the power of Jesus in someone's life. The missionary journey are also written in a way that reminds us that the Gospel is worth struggles and risks in order to share the message with others.

Paul went on three missionary journeys as well as a final trip that took him to Rome, where he eventually died. The journeys included both land and sea travel throughout what is now Isreal, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. The walking portion of the journeys is said to have been over 10,000 miles! During this time, Paul planted at least 14 churches.


Message from Sunday, February 11th 

The Farthest Journey: While Paul gets the attention in Acts, the Apostle that traveled the farthest away from Jerusalem to spread the Gospel is Thomas (yes, the doubting one!). He made it all of the way to southeast India and is buried in the modern day town of Chennai.
Acts as a Bridge: The Book of Acts gives a framework and context for many of the other letters (epistles) in the New Testament. It also shows how the early church was connected eventually to the church throughout the world as the disciples and new believers spread the message of the Gospel.
Characteristics of the book of ACTS: (per the Concordia Self-Study Bible):
1. Accurate Historical Detail: ACTS covers a period of 30 years. Luke's records include information on locations, government leaders and court cases, and other notable historical activities that have been supported by archaelogical findings. This accuracy provides a rich detail of both the early church as well as life in the Roman empire during that time.
2.  Literary Excellence: Acts is written in Greek with extensive vocabulary and a focus on literaty styles of the area being described. However, when people are described in Palestinian settings, Luke uses Aramaic wordings/phrases that would be more common to that area.
3. Dramatic Description: Acts includes dramatic situational details and in-depth character descriptions. People are memorable and the stories move quickly, giving a sense of purpose and intent for the spread of the Gospel while being engaging to read.
4. Objective Account: Luke recorded both the exciting moments as well as times of dissension. This includes both individuals (Paul and Barnabus) as well as factions (different sets of Jewish believers).

These questions can apply to all readings individually or can be done after all readings are finished.
  1. What did you find most interesting or thought-provoking?
  2. What challenged you?
  3. Where is God calling you to share the Gospel?
  4. In what ways do you struggle to speak about your faith with those around you?

God in heaven, your power and your presence are always with us. Give us the strength to follow where you lead. Help us to carry out the tasks you present before us, including sharing Your love AND Your Gospel message with others. Help us to be gracious, patient, and forgiving toward others, just as You are to us every day. Amen.

You can engage these readings and devotional times individually or as a group. If you want to send an email to Family of Christ with your thoughts and questions, you are invited to click the link below.