Through Philippians for Skeptics and Seekers and Those Who Love Them

On his second missionary journey in about the year A.D. 49, Paul and his team were led to Europe for the first time. Acts 16 tells us that the the Holy Spirit blocked them from going one way and the Spirit of Jesus blocked them from going another way. Eventually, God gave Paul a vision of a Macedonian man. Ironically the first person to respond to their message was actually a woman named Lydia.

Paul delivered a young woman from her demonic oppression. This angered her owners because they made money off of her predictions of the future. As a result, a riot breaks out and Paul and Silas end up in jail. They continued to praise God in spite of their suffering. Even after an earthquake shook the jail, they stayed and led the jailer and his household to faith.

Lydia, the jailer, and their households made up the core group of the church in Philippi. Years later they remained supportive of Paul sending him a letter and financial support. To thank them and encourage them, Paul writes the letter to the Philippians which is one of the most encouraging books in the Bible.

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