Thursday, April 5, 2012

Apr 5: Acts 16

Acts 16

At the beginning of this chapter, Paul sets out with Silas and Luke. They go to the churches Paul had started on his last trip and meet a Jesus follower named Timothy who joins their posse. But because all the Jews knew Tim’s father was a Greek, Paul decided to circumcise him …ew. Paul was all about getting the message of salvation across to people, and would fix anything that would hinder the message -- including Timothy being uncircumcised.

Paul didn’t want to offend anyone unnecessarily. At Verve, we follow this same principle. The atmosphere is comfortable, the music is good, there are fun videos, and the message is about Jesus (with extremely practical advice).

Back to Paul, who travels to Philippi. While there, he casts an evil spirit out of a slave. The slave owner grabs Paul, drags him to the authorities and accuses him of “throwing the city into an uproar by advocating different customs." The slave owner gets his revenge because Paul and Silas are whipped and jailed. If this happened to you, how would you react?

What Paul and Silas did next may surprise you. They worship God, loud enough for all the prisoners to hear. Would you worship God when you’re thrown in prison after preaching about Jesus? Don’t forget about the wounds on their back that needed to be washed. What do you think it is about Jesus that makes Paul and Silas persevere through persecution and still worship God?

In verse 31 Paul tells the jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved -- you and your household.” I think that most of this verse should be applied to everyone, but “you and your household” may be specific to the jailer. We’ve seen that Paul is a prophet, and in the following verses the jailer’s family does believe and get baptized. This verse is probably not a promise that our being saved guarantees our family will be too. However, God is not willing that anyone would perish, but that everyone would have eternal life, (2 Peter 3:9) so pray hard for your loved ones to experience life with God. Make sure you let them know that trusting Jesus with their life is worth everything.

- Written for Verve by Mike Zimmerman