Thursday, May 17, 2012

Acts 16:25-28


Summary retelling of Acts 16:25-28

Paul and Silas continued to praise God even while in prison.  But they did more than talk about God, they sang about Him!  Suddenly an earthquake occurred and all the doors of the prison were opened and the chains on everyone fell off.  When the jailor woke up and saw that the doors were all open, he planned to kill himself.  Paul interceded, claiming that although they were free to escape they had not left.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Paul and Silas (and any other prisoners with them) refused to give up on God.  They refused to see the events of their life as anything other than God’s plan unfolding.  Even though they seemed to be in their bleakest point – how much more bleak can life get than being bound and thrown in prison – they were faithful to God.  Even though from a worldly perspective they had every reason to doubt and complain about their life circumstances, they opted to praise God instead.

Are you inspired by their ability to remain faithful after being thrown in prison?  Why do you think that they can remain faithful even though they have been thrown in prison – even after doing the work of God and casting out a spirit that was thwarting God’s work?

Second Thought:
God takes care of his own.  God honors the faithful.  This is true on an eternal perspective as well.  Even when we die, we know and believe that God will honor the faithful and raise us up into eternal life with Him.  God does not abandon us.  He does not lead us into trouble and then forget about us.

Does it help any knowing that time and time again we see God pulling His people out of situations that should have ended poorly for them?  Why is that important to see?

Third Thought:
Paul and Silas care about the jailor.  They know that the doors to freedom have been opened.  However, they also know that God has presented them with an opportunity to demonstrate God’s love to the jailor.  Had they fled, the jailor would have killed himself rather than face the punishment that he deserved.  {Remember that in Roman places captors received the punishment that the prisoners should have received if the prisoners escape.}  By staying in the prison, they are able to demonstrate faithfulness and love to the jailor – when no faithfulness and love was expected.

How good are you at not taking advantage of opportunities in order to show love and faithfulness to someone else?  How does what Paul and Silas do here in the prison speak to the fight against the self-monger with each of us?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 16:29-34
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