The Gospel Comes to Europe

Read: Acts 16:11-40

 . . . and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. (v. 12)

My mother used to say, “It takes all kinds.” She was referring to the fact that God has made all kinds of people with all kinds of personalities and gifts in this world, and somehow that makes the world a better place. The same thing is true for the church. It takes all kinds of people to get God’s work done. My experience has been that God always sees to it that there is a good mix of gifts among his people.

Paul saw this happening in his ministry too. While establishing churches throughout the Mediterranean world, he saw a variety of people come to Christ. In Philippi, the first church in Europe, the three converts who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ were from very different backgrounds. Lydia was a seller of purple, a very costly dye. As a successful merchant she represented the highest social bracket.

Paul also shared the gospel with a slave girl who was a fortune-teller. Of course, she had no social status as a slave. When she trusted Christ, her owners were not happy and incited a riot targeting Paul. That landed Paul and Silas in prison where they shared the gospel with the jailer, a representative of the solid middle class. He also came to faith in Christ.

What a wonderful gift diversity is to the church!  —John Koedyker

As you pray, thank God that the gospel is for all people.

About the Author

Rev. John Koedyker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in America for more than forty years. His ministry began in Japan where he served as a missionary for ten years. After that he has served churches in Iowa and Michigan. He has served as the Stated Clerk of Muskegon Classis, RCA, for the past sixteen years and also presently serves as pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan. John has written a number of times previously for Words of Hope and he has a bi-monthly religion column in the Grand Haven Tribune. He is married to Marilyn, and they have four grown children and seven grandchildren.

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