Believe In His Word - 2/10/2014

Paul and Silas were going about the Father’s business telling people about Jesus. When they came to a town that had a woman who was what they called then a diviner that worked for some men; she followed them telling everyone whom it was that they were and what they were doing. She knew this because she had actually been demon controlled. Paul and Silas knew this so they sent the demon away. This angered her employers because she was not only free from the demon but they had no use for her as a slave girl either. They told lies about them and caused them to be thrown in prison.

But God had a plan!

Paul and Silas could have been discouraged and wondered why God would allow them to suffer so. I say suffer because they were not just tossed into a cushy prison like we have today where they get three square meals and a exercise time and such but they were chained to a wall around their ankles. I do not recall them saying anything about prisons having toilets to flush back then either. Just to give you a nice visual; Paul and Silas had every ‘right’ to complain to God, to cry about how they were ‘unjustly accused’ and how much the courts ‘abused’ them. They could have thrown a major fit and cussed the guards out! They did not.
Instead of crying out to God in complaint they sang praises and worshiped the Lord their God; in the midst of their chains. They sang such beautiful praise songs that the Jailer fell asleep.
Then God accepted the praise and broke the chains opened the doors of all the prisoners, some of whom really deserved to be there. He sent a huge earthquake that jarred all of the doors t the cells open and unlatched the locks binding them. Paul and Silas could easily of ran and so could the others but they did not move.
The Guard woke up and seeing what the locks were like thought they had all escaped! But they did not.
He was about to kill himself because punishment for this lack of attention to the prisoners and falling asleep on the job would surely be a horrible thing; it would have been better to kill himself and make it look as if he were killed to get them freed.
Paul and Silas encouraged him to stay alive and so he took them cleaned their wounds, for they had been beaten by the accusers and crowds, not to mention the chains. This is where it gets interesting; how many of us would go with a jailer if we were in prison after being wrongly accused, and set free? We would want to get away or go to our own families or friends, but Paul and Silas stayed there and shared the Gospel.

He asked them “What shall I do to be saved?” They replied “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” Acts 16:31

They shared of how God had kept them safe, and because of this he believed that day; He and his whole household were saved.

They spoke to him of Jesus and all they knew that they preached to the people prior to their imprisonment; they gave him hope. He no doubt was amazed at the whole way God opened things up and did not allow anyone to leave. He kept his job, could still l support his family through this whole ordeal they found the gift of eternal life!

Sometimes we have to go through trials for things that we have no idea why they would happen to us; we may even ask why God would allow such a thing; but God has a plan. The things we go through and tough it out still giving God the glory, honor and praise may affect a whole lot of people to get ‘saved by grace’.
Share your story; tell the world that Jesus loves them.
It seems like such an easy job to read it but sometimes it is not easy at all.

When you lose a loved one or your job gets downsized and you are the one who gets dropped. My first pastor’s wife, Louse Frye once told me words I will always remember in times of trouble; “if the enemy is giving you so much trouble he must be leaving someone else alone”. At the time I had just gone through a week of, a fire next door to my house keeping me from home, an allergic reaction to medicine I was taking that nearly killed me; my car broke down causing me to have to walk to work. I was worn out and ready to give up the ghost! Yet my “mama Frye” as we called her gave me that little nugget that made it all something to rejoice in. She showed me how to praise God in the midst of the trial, to worship Him because He is not because He does.
She saved me a lot of pity parties since then, when things go wrong I hear her words and begin thanking God for things and singing praises.

Some people call it being a Poly Anna, but I think Paul and Silas gave us a great view of how to deal with being bound for no good reason. 
This week our challenge is to break out of our bondage in praise and worship! Shout for joy to the Lord! Sing praises to His name!
Give God the glory in spite of your circumstances today.

Around Midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 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! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners and escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”
The jailer called for the lights ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:25-31

Do you believe today? Believe and be saved.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for saving us; we believe you will save us from the burdens of life today and show us how to bring your life to those around us. Let our suffering not be in vain, but for the Kingdom’s gain. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Suggested Reading: Acts 14:1-28, Psalm 5:1-12, Acts 16:1-40 and Psalm 16:1-11