Sunday, November 23, 2008

Escaped!

November 23: Acts 15-16

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Acts 16:25-30, ESV

Escaped

Paul and Silas were in prison. What had they done now?

As they were moving throughout the city of Philippi, they came upon a slave girl "filled with the spirit of divination" who made a lot of money for her masters. She followed Paul and Silas for days proclaiming, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”

After days of this, Paul became annoyed and cast the evil spirit out of her. Her owners were furious. They cared nothing about the girl, but only the money she made for them, and that income was gone!

But, look at Paul and Silas. At midnight we find them entertaining all of the other prisoners by praying to God and singing hymns! Suddenly the earth trembled; all of the chains were loosened from the prisoners hands and feet, and the doors swung open. The Philippian jailer, assuming the prisoners had all escaped was ready to kill himself.

But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”

Trembling with fear, the jailer fell down before Paul and Silas crying, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

Nothing happens by accident! How often do we find ourselves questioning our circumstances, crying out, "Why is God doing this to me?" God is gradually turning this world, and completing his plan that began right at the creation!

Thinking the prisoners had escaped the Philippian jailer was ready to take his own life, but God prevented that. Why? Earlier, when Peter escaped prison, the jailers were executed. Why did that not happen here? The Philippian jailer had an appointment with God! Not only that, later we find that his entire household believed in God!

What an amazing God we have? Nothing is more important than the salvation of new believers.

God Bless You,
Linda

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