Good morning! Our status can be defined in many ways. People use status for their own agendas and others use their status to influence good change. Today, we have an opportunity to use our status. Join me as we finish our reading in Acts chapter sixteen.
“35 The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, “Let those men go!” 36 So the jailer told Paul, “The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.”
37 But Paul replied, “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!”
38 When the police reported this, the city officials were alarmed to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39 So they came to the jail and apologized to them. Then they brought them out and begged them to leave the city. 40 When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town.” – Acts 16:35-40
As a Roman citizen, Paul had rights that were not given to him. He had a right to a public hearing and Roman citizens could not be whipped (scouraged) as a punishment.
Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail mainly because they shared the gospel and interrupted the cash flow of the servant girl’s master. It wasn’t until later that the police learned of Paul’s and Silas’ status as citizens. Yet, in the midst of Paul’s and Silas’ unlawful beating and detainment, a girl was saved, people in the jail heard about the Good News of Jesus, and the jailer and his entire family were saved.
Personally, I would of asked God – couldn’t there have been an easier way to save the girl, minister to those in prison, and tell the jailer how to be saved? Today, sisters and brothers in America, God has given many of us an easier way to share the gospel (e.g. , praying for other, prison pen pal ministry, fighting Human Trafficking, etc.), but are we doing those things?
Sisters and brothers, sometimes we are called to disrupt the complacency of our church, the community, the world, and even ourselves. Things will not be easy, but following the Lord Jesus Christ will not be a mistake. I’m not calling you to get in harms way, but instead, to listen to the Holy Spirit lead and then follow with an obedient heart. You may not know who needs you to set them free, to help them understand the Good News, or to encourage them in the faith, but be a willing vessel for the Lord to send and/or use.
Don’t forget as believers – your status is:
- Daughter or son of the King of kings and Lord of lord.
- Apple of God’s eye.
- The head not the tail.
- You have access to anything the Father has.
Remember your status and walk confidently in your calling.
Father God, thank you for your provision over our lives. Thank you for rescuing us from the very things that try to harm us and destroy our witness. Lord Jesus, thank you for setting us free from the things that kept us bound and separated from God. May the love of Christ continue to be found within us. May that love overflow into our communities homes. Lord, we want to be the change and the people you created us to be. Lord, work through us and help us to show more love to those around us. Lord, open our eyes to see you at work even when the circumstances seem bleak in our eyes. Lord, we pray for all the families who are grieving, who are struggling, and have lost hope. Lord, remind them that they are loved and that you are with them. Lord we pray for those who have been diagnosed with a curable or incurable disease and ask that you be with them and comfort them. Lord, we pray for safety and health for all the children returning to the classrooms. We pray the same for the teachers as well. Keep us as we go through the colder months. Keep our eyes focused on you. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
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