17/05/2010

Paul and Silas in prison.

Acts 16:16-40
Acts describe the acts of the Holy Spirit. After Act 5, we see quite a bit of persecution. Through Acts, the message of the Gospel is spread out to the community. What was the early message? Depending on where he is, Paul uses the local points to make the message more relevant. We also see Paul's strategic manoeuvres, he goes to synagogues or places of prayers to meet people seeking the Lord.
In Acts 16, we don't really know where they are! It starts with a problem, this slave girl with a prophetic gift not from God. She won't let go! Acts 16:18. Paul became troubled. Why did he tolerate it so long? Then he prayed in the name of Jesus and the Spirit left. That creates a reaction. The owners of the girl are annoyed and drag Paul and Silas to the magistrates. Paul and Silas were stripped and beaten for the Gospel! When is the last time you were persecuted for being a Christian?

Imagine Paul and Silas in chains, in a prison, are they grumpy and feeling sorry for themselves? not at all, they are praising God and singing!
Earthquake. All the doors pop open. Another reaction. The plight of another man about to throw himself on his sword. Paul hears his pleas and says: 'don't harm yourself'. The jailor : what must I do to be saved' and we can assume he means 'from the Romans'. He is desperate. Paul takes his words as an invitation: 'Believe and be saved! Paul is shifting the whole context.
With the creation of a new governement, politics is back on the arena. Is there room for you to talk about Jesus?
There is proclamation and then results, care. Paul and Silas are given care. The whole family of the jailor is rejoicing.

Midtrent churches need the Good News about Jesus crucified, resurrected and ascended to Heaven, Jesus who pours out the Spirit. We need to take every opportunity to proclaim this message.
The Word is for sharing.
Rev. S. A.

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