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Acts Reading Plan | Week 12 | Day 5
As you come to spend time with Jesus, calm your mind and body until you feel fully present. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” As you come to meet with Him, you might thank Him for the joy you have in his presence, or you may need to ask him to fill you again with that joy. Express to Him where you are at, not where you think you should be.
Bible Reading: Acts 16:25-40
Read these verses three times slowly.
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 the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.”
But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.”
The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them. Then they left.
Reflection & Questions
Yesterday, we left Paul and Silas in stocks in prison, having been severely beaten. What would they do now? How would they respond? Today, we get the answer. They sang. They were praying and singing hymns to God. What an incredible reaction in the midst of such a terrible situation!
As they are singing, God sends an earthquake, which in turn leads to the jailer and his family all coming to Christ and being baptized. Then Paul and Silas being released by the town’s magistrates.
There are so many beautiful details to this story – so many unexpected reactions. Songs being sung in prison. The jailer went from being filled with fear to being “filled with joy”. And he went from Paul and Silas’ oppressor to washing their wounds.
This was all possible because of the Spirit’s leading and Paul and Silas’ willingness to be wounded so that others might hear the good news. They trusted the Spirit. They sang through the night. As we face the “night” in our lives (troubling, heart-wrenching situations), we can defiantly sing through it, knowing that our loving Father has a good plan, and that He won’t leave us in the “middle” but will walk with us through it to the end.
- What do you tend to do when you’re in the middle of a painful situation and don’t know what God is up to? What would it look like for you to sing through the “night”?
- Are you willing to be “wounded” (persecuted) for others to have the joy of knowing Jesus? Why or why not?
Talk to God in response to the reading today.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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