In Acts 16 we find the apostle Paul and his band of missionary evangelists on their mission journey to evangelize people of the Jewish faith. This rabbi and former member of the highest Jewish court now a converted follower of Jewish Christ seeking people who He could tell the Messiah had come, Jesus of Nazareth. When Paul could not find a Jewish synagogue in the multi-religious city of Philippi he went outside the city gates to down to the river. There they hoped to find a group who practiced the Jewish faith.

Jewish religious law stated for a synagogue to be established there had to be a head of household leading the congregation. Because there is no mention of a man with the group the woman who practiced Judaism had to meet outside the city, this was not a true synagogue. But Paul  following Jesus example and teaching, John 4 witnessing to the women at the well, He had crossed racial barriers, the woman being a Samaritan and gender barriers, her being a woman. Paul sat down and began to evangelize the group of women. As a result Lydia trusted in Jesus and was receiving saving faith, Ephesians 2;8-9. It turned out that she was a successful business woman.

The lesson to learn in Acts 16:11-14 is that Paul did not give up when he could find a place of worship, but instead continued until they found a group worshipping YHWH. Then he explained to them how God  had come to earth in the form of a man Jesus of Nazareth and did many miracles and prophesied that He would and come back from the dead after three days, resurrect from a certain and documented death. Don’t give up.

On the other hand, if when in search for a Bible teaching, Bible preaching church or group of believers in Jesus Christ, don’t give up. Ask God  to help you find a place where you and your family can worship and discuss the things of the Bible. It should  be a place where you can see God is giving people understanding to His Word and they are responding to  God’s  Word and Holy Spirit leading to trust in Jesus Christ and following Him in believer’s baptism.

Paul wrote to the church in Romans, “faith comes by hearing  and hearing by the Word of God” Romans 10:17. This is the only way to become a Christ follower, by hearing about Jesus Christ atoning death and resurrection. Everyone must come through Jesus Christ, John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father but by Me.”

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