Friday, February 10, 2017

24 hours in the life of Mr. Jailor

Thursday 2-9-17, Modesto, California
Today we read Lev 10 – 12 and Acts 16
S = Scripture  O = Observation  A = Application  P = Prayer  SOAP for the soul.

S. Acts 16:34 Then he brought them into his house and set a meal before them. He and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God. NLT

O. Just 24 hours in the life of an unnamed jailor who was just doing his job: The city of Philippi was in an uproar. Paul and Silas, stripped and beaten with rods, bloody and bruised are now turned over to this warden. Jailors are not known for their tender treatment. He curses as yanks them around mercilessly forcing them into the innermost, secure cell and anchors their feet in the stocks. He knows that if these two men escape, or any other prisoner, he will die.

“Goodnight scum! Enjoy your stay in the Philippi Hilton!” They hear “Slam! Slam! Slam!” as each section’s door is closed and locked. Paul breaks the pitch dark silence, “Well, bro, it looks like we’re not going anywhere tonight.” Silas starts singing a chorus he learned as a kid, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart… yeah! Down in my heart!” Paul follows with, “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy Name!” In the next cell one criminal mutters to another, “Nobody’s going to sleep tonight.”  And they were right. Next, Mr. Jailor awakes to an earthquake, all doors are wide open, all chains broken, stocks unlocked. He flips the light switch and it doesn’t work. “Rats, I was born in the wrong century!” It is pitch dark and he draws his weapon to kill himself… when Paul yells. “Hey, don’t harm yourself, we are all still here!” He runs in through wide open doors and asks the key question for every sinner: “What must I do to be saved?” Now, a few hours later, Paul and Silas, all washed and clothed are sitting at breakfast along with Brother Jailor and his whole, believing and baptized family… as Paul leans over and says, “Silas, why don’t you ask the blessing.”

A. Less than 24 hours had passed and now everybody was singing with Paul and Silas. Maybe I need to learn to sing, when the car won’t start, or the spare tire is flat, or the bridge is washed out and there is a two hour detour on a dirt road.

P. Oh Lord, worship is a wonderful exercise when your servant is feeling beaten down and discouraged. At times like this, You probably are checking the gauges on my “emotion dash board” when “joy” is on empty and the warning light is blinking on “hope”, for it is almost gone. Teach me to sing with a heart filled with genuine worship and praise even when the lights go out. For You make bad things turn out for good, in Your time. Amen.

Christian songs break chains.

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