Happy Monday! There are times when things do not go according to our plan. We find ourselves in tough situations or in positions in our lives that we never dreamed we would be in. The gospel artists Mary Mary sang the words “I don’t believe He’s brought me this far to leave me.” It is a song that reminds the listener that no matter the trial, God is still with us and won’t leave. Today we will continue our reading in Acts chapter sixteen with Paul and Silas in jail. Join me as we read how Paul and Silas respond to their situation.
“25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! 27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”” – Acts 16:25-30 NLT
- Paul and Silas were in a Roman colony.
- They shared the Good News with Lydia and her household became believers and were baptized.
- Paul commanded in the name of Jesus for a demon to leave a slave girl and the demon left her.
- The slave girl’s owners were upset and the town was in chaos, which lead to the unlawful beating of Paul and Silas. They were both jailed after.
- The girl had been set free from years of being controlled by the demon, but Paul and Silas were in chains.
Paul and Silas were doing what they were led to do – share the Good News. But now, in these verses they were in chains. They could have complained to the Lord. They could have given up, but instead what do we find them doing? _______ That’s right, we find them “praying and singing hymns to God.”(v.25) Their worship was being heard by the prisoners (they were having church in the jail – prison ministry), but it was also being heard by God.
God did not leave them. God shook-up the entire situation, the earth quaked, the doors opened, and the chains fell. The beauty here, everyone saw the power of God, and even the jailer became a believer. Not only did Paul save the jailer from killing himself, Paul pointed the jailer to the One (Jesus) who saves.
Sisters and brothers, it easy to say everyone is going through something, but the truth of the matter is even in those situations God is with us. He didn’t bring us this far to leave us.
Questions to ponder:
- What situation do you need God to shake up?
- What door do you need the Lord to open?
- Who do you know who is in jail (physically or mentally)?
- Will you pray for God to break the chains in your life and in the life of others?
- Will you help the one that says, “what must I do to be saved?“
Father God, we thank you for today. We thank you for the reminder that you did not bring us this far to leave us. Thank you for the example of the Apostle Paul and Silas in the worse of situations, still praising you in the storm. Lord, forgive us for the times when we forgot to praise you in good and bad times. Lord, today we lift up our hands and give you all the praise and glory. Lord, we trust when the time is right you will make all things right. Lord, until then strengthen our faith and our resolve to follow and praise you no matter what is going on in our lives. Lord, take the lead in our homes, on our jobs, in our relationships, in the medical centers, in the White House, and across the world. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
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