Day 288: October 15, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Acts 20:1-12
After the uproar was over, Paul sent for the disciples, encouraged them, and after saying good-bye, departed to go to Macedonia. 2 And when he had passed through those areas and exhorted them at length, he came to Greece 3 and stayed three months. When he was about to set sail for Syria, a plot was devised against him by the Jews, so a decision was made to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia. 5 These men went on ahead and waited for us in Troas, 6 but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread. In five days we reached them at Troas, where we spent seven days.

7 On the first day of the week, we assembled to break bread. Paul spoke to them, and since he was about to depart the next day, he extended his message until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were assembled, 9 and a young man named Eutychus was sitting on a window sill and sank into a deep sleep as Paul kept on speaking. When he was overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down, fell on him, embraced him, and said, “Don’t be alarmed, for his life is in him!” 11 After going upstairs, breaking the bread, and eating, Paul conversed a considerable time until dawn. Then he left. 12 They brought the boy home alive and were greatly comforted.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Want to share today's reading with your friends? Pick a platform below

Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia.
—Acts 20:4

New Places, New Faces
by Karla Worley, Member of Brentwood Baptist, Brentwood Campus

Today’s passage has a pretty amazing story in it. Paul preached so long that someone fell out a window and died, but was brought back to life! Apparently these kinds of miracles were so common to Paul that he went right back upstairs and kept talking until dawn.

The young man’s name was Eutychus. And before you get to his story, you have to wade through a lot of other names—names of people (Sopater, Pyrrhus, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Timothy, Tychicus and Trophimus) and places (Macedonia, Greece, Syria, Berea, Thessalonica, Derbe, Asia, Troas, Philippi).

These names are strange to us and hard to pronounce. We usually skip over them to get to the good stuff. But we shouldn’t. To God, the people and the places are the good stuff.

These names tell us something very important about Paul’s ministry. They aren’t Jewish names. They’re all Greek. Greek people in Greek places. Paul, who was born a self-described “Jew of all Jews” was keeping company mostly with Gentiles. And that’s exactly what God sent him to do.

“For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of what you have seen and of what I will reveal to you. 17 I will rescue you from the people and from the Gentiles. I now send you to them 18 to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that by faith in Me they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified” (Acts 26:16-18).

Paul’s whole life was reordered so he could accomplish this assignment. At times, the Holy Spirit even blocked him, taking him in a different direction than he’d planned in order to go where God wanted him, where the gospel had never been heard (see Acts 16).

Some of the men listed in today’s passage became believers as a result of Paul’s obedience to step out beyond his comfort zone, to seek new faces in new places.

God is on a very specific mission: He’s seeking very specific people in very specific places. We live, work, and play in those places. As we follow the Spirit, our own stories should become populated with new faces in new places, the names of the people and places where God is using us to take the good news of Jesus Christ.

Reflection Questions

  1. List the names of people and places that populate your daily story. Notice any new names? How did they get there? Might God have sent you to them?
  2. Has God ever reordered your plans so you went in a new direction and met different people than you had planned? What was your response?
  3. Are you asking God to populate your story with people who need to hear the gospel? The Greek word oikos was a term that described people who lived in close relationship with each other. Who in your “oikos” needs to know Christ? Download a prayer card to guide you in praying for opportunities to share the gospel with your oikos.

About the Author

Karla Worley
» Blog/Website

Karla Worley has served as the Preaching Team Assistant at Brentwood Baptist for 6 years. She is married to Dennis Worley, Minister of Worship at Brentwood Baptist, where they have been members for 22 years. They have three sons and two grandchildren. Karla is also the author of four books, a singer, and a Dove Award-winning songwriter. In her "other" life, she would like to have been a Broadway star. She sings while driving and vacuuming (not all at the same time) and infrequently blogs at