THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
BELIEVE AND BE SAVED!
Today’s readings: Acts 16:22-34
Paul and Silas were attacked, stripped, beaten with rods,
and thrown in prison (Acts 16:22-23). They were put in the
innermost cell and their feet secured to a stake (Acts 16:24).
They were in an impossible situation. Did they lose heart?
Did they rue the day they decided to proclaim Christ? No.
They turned even more intently to God. They prayed and sang
hymns to God while the other prisoners listened (Acts 16:25).
Angelic voices rising in a hell hole! It surely would have
touched some hearts of the most hardened prisoners.
the miracle. There was a severe earthquake, and all the doors
of the prison flew open and their chains pulled loose (Acts
16:26). The jailer was about to kill himself, thinking the
prisoners had escaped. Assured by Paul that they were all
still there, “he asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas"
(Acts 16:29). His conversion had begun.
jailer asked for a light, and he received the light of Christ.
He trembled with fear, but was even more going to encounter
the awesome almighty God. He fell down, and God from that
time on started the process of raising him up, eventually
all the way to heaven.
Faith works wonders. The faith of Paul and
Silas resulted in a great miracle. The jailer and his house
came to faith in Jesus. He immediately put
that faith into works, as he bathed the wounds
of the two and fed them. And he was in awe and wonder
at what had happened to him as he “with his household
rejoiced at having come to faith in God.” (Acts 16:34b).
uses circumstances, often painful to us, to bring people to
Himself. Many people, like the jailer, do not realize how
deep into darkness and dungeons their lives are. They may
never just by themselves ask the question: “Sirs, what
must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). God needs to break
into their lives. God then gives people like us, like Paul
and Silas, the privilege to suffer in order to enable us to
proclaim the gospel.
us be about the work of the New Evangelization. Let us shout
out to the whole world: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and
you and your household will be saved.” (Acts 16:31).
results will be wondrous, just as then, when “there
was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations
of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the chains
of all were pulled loose.” (Acts 16:26). Evangelization
is earthshaking work. The foundations of hell will be shaken.
The doors holding people captive in darkness will be opened.
The chains binding people in sin will be pulled loose.
it be said of us today: “they spoke the word of the
Lord to him and to everyone in his house.” (Acts 16:32).