DEVOTION FOR FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2018Acts 16:11–34REPENT AND BELIEVE
When a friend, family member, or coworker announces, “I’m expecting a baby!” or “I’m going to be married!” we cannot ignore their joyful news. Instead, we break into a smile of delight and offer a heartfelt, “Congratulations!”
Sharing the news of God’s love doesn’t simply end with announcing the glorious Truth of Christ’s salvation offered to sinners. The Gospel Message requires a response from everyone who hears it. In today’s passage, we meet an unnamed man who worked as a jailer in the prison at Philippi. He lived in “the leading city of that district of Macedonia” (v. 12), but only a few believers lived in the city (v. 13), and he was not one of them.
Surely in his career he had stood guard over prisoners who had responded to their incarceration in various angry ways. But prisoners Paul and Silas were remarkably different. Rather than grumble or sulk or rage against the penal system, they proceeded to pray and sing hymns (v. 25). As the jailer listened, he heard about a God who was worthy to be worshiped in all circumstances. He learned about a God who hears and answers the prayers of His people wherever they are. He discovered a God who condescends to enter a relationship with ordinary men and women.
When the earthquake shook open the prison doors, Paul and Silas still didn’t respond as other prisoners might. Seeing them still in their cell, the jailer asked them the life-changing question: “What must I do to be saved?” (v. 30). He knew that the truth of who God was—the truth he had witnessed in Paul and Silas’s jail-cell worship—demanded a response. And Paul had a ready answer: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (v. 31).APPLY THE WORD
The gospel message we proclaim demands a response. As we go about the work of evangelism, we call others to respond by repenting of their sin and trusting in Christ as their Savior. Make the invitation of Peter your own: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38).PRAY WITH US
On this last day of Founder’s Week, pray for the participants on stage, in the audience, and behind the scenes. May the Holy Spirit work in their hearts as they go home.