About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.
Written by: Brett Humphrey
Even though Paul and Silas had been ridiculed, beaten, and locked in chains in the worst part of the prison, they still kept their focus on Jesus. They did what only they could do, which at that point was worshiping God through songs and prayer. God did what only He could do, which was work a miracle and create an opportunity for Paul and Silas to share about Jesus. The other thing God did was prepare the people in the prison and the jailer to open their hearts and minds to hear about Jesus. None of the prisoners escaped when they had a chance. Instead, they listened to Paul and Silas share about Jesus. The jailer said yes to Jesus and his life was changed.
I haven’t ever found myself in a situation exactly like the one in this passage, but I have had opportunities to share Jesus with people I was sure wouldn’t be interested. In those cases, I acted on the prompting I received from the Holy Spirit. It has taken me a while to recognize this prompting. Usually it takes the form of a thought that I should talk to a person, ask someone if I could pray for them, or go out of my way to help someone else. When I look back on those times, I realize I was doing what God wanted me to do and am confident He will continue to do what only He can do in their lives. Those times I have missed the prompting, I pray that God used someone else and they were listening better than I was.
We don’t want to be someone else’s “no.” We don’t want to answer for them before they have had the chance to answer for themselves.
Ask the Holy Spirit to prompt you with a name of someone to invite and then invite that person. Let God do what He can do in their lives while you do what you can do. Invite them to come to church with you, serve with you, join you for a meal, or engage in a conversation about Jesus. Regardless of their circumstances, God may already be working in their lives and He wants you to be part of their story.
Thought of the day: Who is a person you need to invite to come to church with you, serve with you, join you for a meal, or engage in a conversation about Jesus?
Prayer: Holy Spirit, please help me recognize times this week when You are prompting me to invite someone to take their next step with You. Please give me the courage to do what only I can do so You can do what only You can do. Thank You for choosing to work through me to help others meet, know, and follow Jesus. Amen.