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Thought for the Week
July 22, 2019
Key Passage: Acts 16
Happy Motivational Monday!
Today’s key passage comes from Acts 16. Paul and Silas were in prison in Philippi. During the night there was an earthquake that shook the foundations of the jail, caused all the cell doors to open, and the shackles to fall from the prisoners. When the guard saw all the doors open, he assumed the prisoners ran away, and started to kill himself (Roman guards were given the same punishment as any prisoners they let escape).
Instead of taking advantage of sure freedom, Paul called out to the guard and told him to stop, that all the prisoners were still there. Moved by Paul’s compassion, the guard asked Paul one of the greatest questions in the Bible -- and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.
Acts 16:30-34. The part of this passage I want to emphasize is the phrase “you and your household.” We see how the jailer was saved - by believing in the Lord Jesus, but what about the household? Is Paul saying that a person’s faith can be strong enough to save their entire family? The answer is a clear no.
But this emphasizes the importance of what the jailer did - he brought Paul to his family members, and in turn, brought them to Jesus. Just like Andrew is always bringing everyone to Jesus in the Gospel of John, the Philippian jailer takes responsibility for the salvation of his family.
How was the jailer saved? He believed in the Lord Jesus. How was the jailer’s family saved? They believed in the Lord Jesus. But, if someone (the jailer) had not brought them the good news, they would never have been saved.
Take responsibility for your families’ salvation. Share the good news with them, or at least bring them to someone who will. Live your witness in front of your family, and show them something better in Christ.
No one is saved by association. This was a hard lesson for the Jews to learn, who believed they would be saved just because of being Abraham’s descendants. The jailer saw Jesus in Paul. He wanted something better, so he asked Paul how he could have the kind of peace and joy Paul showed in prison. He then shared it with his family.
“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God.” Hebrews 12:15a