Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Christian’s presence in differing Life SpacesScripture
Key Bible Verse Text
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Acts 16:31
Imagine receiving salvation in the most unexpected place, a prison. That’s what happened to the jailer who was guarding Paul and Silas. That fateful night was the turning point in the jailer’s life as well as his family’s. The jailer knew he was missing out on something in his life and needed answers. But who knew he would receive this gift in a prison and from the very men who were being held captive and mistreated.
Verse 33 says, “At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.” Here we can see the jailer goes on to show kindness and hospitality to Paul and Silas; his whole demeanor changes. Verse 34 says, “he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.” Since the jailer took a chance, salvation entered into his home. Believing in Christ and his unfailing love is life changing, as we see in today’s passage. The jailer is not much different from you and I. He was living in a lost and sinful world and Jesus came and brought joy and made him and his family whole. Encountering Christ in a personal way is the catalyst for a new and meaningful life. Christ fills the void and loneliness that many of us feel.
Something has to be said for Paul and Silas’ conviction and courage to keep going. How could they be “praying and singing hymns to God” after being stripped and severely flogged? Praying makes sense as many of us pray out of desperation, in sorrow, and when enduring suffering, but singing? Singing is not the first thing that comes to my mind in this particular situation. I would be questioning my faith and wondering if all of this was worth the agony and misery. But rather than drowning in their own pain and sorrow, Paul and Silas chose to praise God. They were witnessing even at their lowest moment to the other prisoners around them (vs. 25). What if as a prisoner, all you’ve ever heard were cursing, groaning, pleading, and cries? Singing would be a new and welcomed experience. This probably gave the prisoners a sense of comfort and hope, something that they were perhaps longing for, just like the jailer. Paul and Silas knew that there was a bigger plan for them because of whom they served. Even in their terrible circumstance they found joy. It’s like Paul said in Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! He not only preached it, he lived it! Silas and Paul’s joy was unaffected by their circumstances. Paul didn't just talk about joy, he experienced it. Joy in the midst of suffering and sorrow will always get the attention of those around you.
The conviction in the jailer’s heart led to a simple question, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (vs. 30). This question led to his salvation. The opportunity to receive Christ into your hearts can come at any moment, time or place. Don’t let it pass you by.
Heavenly Father helps us to always be a witness to those around us. Let us not be overcome by our sorrows but see the all the goodness you have brought into our lives. Help us to lead a life of joy even in the midst of adversity. We know that you are with us through the good times and the bad. We thank you for your promise that you will never leave us or forsake us. We thank you for your unfailing love that reaches us even in our lowest points and for your endless grace.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Thought for the Day
The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept His offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness, and loneliness. With Christ, joy is constantly born anew.
Mrs. Susan Abraham
Sehion Mar Thoma Church, Plano Texas