The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

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Church of Christ

11/08/2013

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The Musical Of Life - Scared Straight


"About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all of the prison doors flew open and everybody's chains came loose" (Acts 16:25-26).

Today's verses are a part of the excellent account of Paul and Silas' being beaten and imprisoned. I certainly liked the part about them being bruised and bleeding, yet still praying and praising the Lord. I'm going for something else though. The jailer, who had dozed off was awakened by what had happened and was ready to fall on his sword. Punishment for having one's prisoner's escape was gruesome back in those days, and suicide seemed to be an easier way to die. But to the jailer's surprise, not only did Paul and Silas stay, but so did the other prisoners. The jailer probably had his first-time encounter with God. "The jailer called for the lights. rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He brought them out and asked, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved'" (Vs 29-30). The important thing for me here is what got the jailer to react as he did. Perhaps he was scared straight because he had an encounter with the genuine, self-sacrificing power of God. It came to him through the actions of two genuine Christians. On the TV show CSI, the investigators sometimes shine a special black light into a room that reveals all the stains that would be otherwise hidden. In the actions of Paul and Silas, the jailer came into the presence of God's special light. They revealed the sinful life that he had been leading, and the desire to be a changed person. When Paul and Silas stayed put, they showed the jailer that their faith was real and that his life was more important to them and to God than their freedom. Its one thing to sing and pray to a God who loves the world and wants to save it. It's completely another to become the eyes, hands, feet, and mouth of God and show His love to someone else. Our lesson is that Paul and Silas perfectly modeled Jesus teachings to: "love your enemies, do good to those who hate you" (Lk.6:27). Their actions inspired the jailer and his family to become Christians. It would be good for us to read this story and meditate upon it today. We can then take a close look at how our modeling is coming along....

Have a great day.. Go about doing good... Love mark Phil.4:11

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