"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”-(Acts 16:25-26).
It didn’t take long for non-believers to realize I was different in the secular workplaces where I’ve worked. I didn’t participate in the jokes, the dirty language, or criticism of management. I didn’t judge them for their behavior because they were merely acting the way they should act as one who does not have Christ in their life. I viewed them as prisoners awaiting their salvation and that I might be the instrument to lead them to my Savior.
I would often be known as the "religious guy." It wasn’t because I was particularly vocal or I tried to separate myself; it happened naturally. The Christ in me naturally made me stand out. Jesus called us to be the "salt and light" of any life situation. The secular workplace economy is contrary to the Kingdom of God economy so we should naturally stand out in any situation.
When Paul and Silas were in prison their lifestyle of worship and prayer in the midst of the horrible conditions of a dirty prison stood out in stark contrast to their circumstances. They didn’t pray and sing to impress their cellmates, they simply did what was natural to them. Still, "the other prisoners were watching and listening."
No matter where you are, others are watching you to determine if your faith is real or if you’re an imposter. The world is looking to discredit your faith. You are a witness always whether you choose to be or not.
"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?’" (Acts 16:29-30). When you begin to reflect the love and power of Christ in your life you won’t have to have an evangelism program to win others into the Kingdom. It will be a fruit of your life. The "fish" will actually jump into the boat!
Beware how you conduct your life today. Because the prisoners are watching and listening.
When you fall – others fall
For reading & meditation: Romans 14:5-13 "For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone." (v.7) It seems almost unbelievable that the thing which stopped the psalmist’s feet from slipping and sliding was not the awareness of his relationship with God but the awareness of his relationship with his brothers and sisters. It might not have been the highest spiritual principle he could have held on to, but it saved him from disaster. It is this matter – our relationship with one another – that Paul is speaking about in today’s passage. You will be familiar, I am sure, with the passages in 1 Corinthians 8 and 10 where Paul enlarges on this subject and where, in a remarkable statement, he says: "I mean for the sake of his conscience, not yours, do not eat it. For why should another man’s scruples apply to me, and my liberty of action be determined by his conscience?’ (1 Cor. 10:29, Amplified Bible). He is saying, in other words, that you might see no need to refrain from eating meat offered to idols for your own sake, because your conscience is not offended, but what about your weaker brother for whom Christ also died? You see, "none of us lives to himself alone", so when next the devil tries to convince you that you are an isolated case and that what he is suggesting concerns you and you alone, quote this verse to him. We do not act in isolation; if you fall, you do not fall alone, the whole Church falls also. If nothing else can stop you from doing wrong, remember the people to whom you belong, remember you are part of a heavenly family, and that when you fall, others fall with you.
Father, drive deeply into my spirit this truth that I cannot act in isolation, for I am bound up with my redeemed brothers and sisters. Help me experience an ever-growing consciousness of this important fact. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
For further study: 1 Corinthians 9:15; Acts 20:35
1. What was Paul’s approach to the weaker brethren?
2. What was Paul’s word to the Thessalonians?
The power has been out for two months. Word of mouth, around the FEMA depots, says it should be back soon. That’s what they said last month too. Suddenly, in the wreckage of your home, you hear the footsteps of a band of looters. You reach for your gun, but it won’t unlock because its battery died last week…
The whole point of owning a gun is that you only need to use it in the most extreme situations (and you pray these never arise). You don’t plug your gun into a USB port before going to bed, knowing that tonight is the night that you’ll need it. You don’t pop on your special RFID digital watch before slipping between the sheets. A gun needs to be ready for the only circumstances it is designed for: the unimaginably horrible ones.
Protecting America Through Knowledge. We support freedom and oppose all violence. Be prepared to help save our country by teaching truth, warning of danger, cleaving unto Jesus the Christ and Heavenly Father, studying the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, sanctifying (and leaving, if and when necessary) your homes and neighborhoods, storing food and clean water, building HAM and personal communication trees and learn the difference between actual law (that approved by the Constitution for the united States of America) and the Vatican's foreign puppet "government" of the District of Colombia (the pagan goddess of death), known as THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CORPORATION. The Lord is currently destroying the latter (organized crime) group. When he is done, only the righteous will remain upon North and South America. It will be then that we survivors shall help him heal the land.