Date: Saturday, July 27
Scripture: Acts 16:25-40
Verse: At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God. (Acts 16:33-34)
A seminary professor named Henri Nouwen chose to leave the comfort of the Christian seminary to serve people in severe physical need through a L’Arch community. Mother Teresa chose to live not in the comfort of a convent, but to go to Calcutta and serve the poorest of the poor. Many Christians choose not to live solely with other Christians secluded from the world, but to use their gifts in service to others.
As in yesterday’s passage, there is an interesting juxtapositions of images of bondage and freedom in today’s. Paul and Silas are chained in prison, yet they are praying and singing hymns to God, signs of their spiritual freedom in Christ. When an earthquake sets them free, they choose not to run back to the church, but rather to stay in prison for the sake of one who is physically free, but spiritually in bondage. By the end of the story, they are rescued from prison and the jailer is set free in Christ as he has become “a believer in God” (vs 34). Two rescues!
Paul and Silas’ vision was so much bigger than themselves. When the earthquake came and the doors to the prison sprung open and their chains fell off, their thoughts went beyond their own salvation to how their freedom might help them serve the jailer who had beaten them and was keeping them locked up.
We have heard Pastor Bob say we are not only saved from, we are also saved for something. Paul and Silas illustrate this beautifully. They were saved from prison, but also knew how to use those circumstances for the salvation of another. We too, though the doors are opened and we have been freed from our chains, need to remember God has done that for us for the sake of others. We too need to use our freedom in Christ for the sake of another.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for setting me free! Amen.
Action: Identify what/who you have been saved for.
Respond: Who have you seen choose to give their lives for another? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.