Focal passage: Acts 16:6-15
Every year, hundreds of people gather together in downtown Hendersonville, N.C., for the annual Apple Festival. Complete with attractions, gifts and tons of food, this weekend-long event becomes a hub for both locals and travelers.
Since the festival is all about apples, the farms that grow and sell their apples use this event as their Super Bowl. They realize what an opportunity they have as people flood the area with the intent on going home with bushels and pecks of apples.
If you’ve seen this, you realize a crucial and obvious fact about these various farm stands: they go where the people are. Their motives are not to simply wait for people to come to them, but to position themselves right in the middle of where the greatest concentrations of people are.
Like the apple farmers, the church must realize the same! Rather than the church building, believers can take the message of the gospel to others as they go about their lives.
In Acts 16, Paul is traveling the Greek world. His travels have brought him to various towns and cities, and he (along with his companions) have brought the gospel with them. Eventually they landed in Troas (v. 8) but received a vision to head to Macedonia – seeing this as God’s plan to give the gospel to this region (v. 10).
Eventually, the group arrives at Philippi, an opportune place for the gospel to spread. They then found a group of women – among whom was a wealthy lady named Lydia. Upon hearing the gospel, she was saved and baptized (vv. 14-15).
This story reminds us that the gospel works best when it is being shared where the people are. When messengers have a message, they must seek out those who need to hear.
Through the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction, may we, too, seek out those who need the gospel message – celebrating when they do receive the Good News of the gospel!