Home » Wednesday: A Witness Who Convicts    


Wednesday: A Witness Who Convicts — 7 Comments

  1. Today's lessons suggests

    "Make a concerted effort to be more open and effusive in your praise to God around others."

    However, I would only agree with this if it is referring to praise as a way of authentically living for God and for the benefit of others, not just showy words. Our walk speaks far louder to others than does our talk. I believe that in the case of Paul and Silas, their words and their walk were observed by others to be an authentic match - and that this is what made a powerful, positive impression of the jailer and the other prisoners.

  2. Nowadays, my singing is more likely to cause an earthquake than comfort those who had been through one. That is one of the effects of growing old. My voice is cracked and faulty, but I do appreciate the music of those who can still sing praise to God.

    One of my fondest memories of Carmel's grandmother was that she was always singing. She had a good voice and sang cheerfully as she did her housework. She wasn't just humming the tune. She knew the words of many hymns so when you heard her, you knew what she was singing. People loved Ma. They went through floods, fires and droughts on the farm but Ma was always singing and helping people through these adversities.

    A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Prov 17:22

  3. What to do at midnight with the feet fastened to the stocks in a jail being unjustly imprisoned ? Best go to sleep and hope the next day to be dismissed, or at worst executed. Paul and Silas could have said : „ well that‘s the end of our journey, that’s where it all leads.“
    Instead the first thing they did was they went to God in prayer, who supplied them with the strength to sing exactly the songs with the content of the full gospel message that actually moved the heart of the jailer in the first place. That‘s where the actual miracle took place as this man yearned for salvation after the earthquake happened and all ties of the prisoners were loosened.
    Paul and Silas could have run away immediately when the ties were broken- I would have done that too. Yet God was still working on them with His spirit to complete the task He intended them to do.

    So at any circumstance, if we would go as far as God would take us, there is always an opportunity to work with Him in the goal of sharing and spreading the good news.

  4. The question that comes to my mind as I read Acts 16:16–34 is why didn’t the prisoners leave when their chains fell off and the doors were opened? If I were them, I would take it that God had provided a way of escape, but Paul and Silas stay and the Holy Spirit works on the other prisoners so none of them leaves either. God does some mysterious things in this work of salvation. In Acts 5, God allows Peter and the other apostles to be arrested while preaching in the temple, then God whisks them miraculously from the jail during the night only to tell them to go back and preach the following day in the same place where they had been arrested!

    God goes to unusual lengths to reach people. Paul and Silas’s experience teaches us many things, and we are benefiting from those lessons even now. But the individuals most impacted by the opening of the prison doors were the jailer and his family. In Peter and the apostles’ imprisonment, I wonder if God may not have been trying to reach the Sanhedrin. We know that experience caused the recognition that the apostles may be doing the work of God. A Pharisee named Gamaliel, urges in Acts 5:38-39, “ in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” From that day forward, I imagine that the Pharisees keenly followed the activities of the apostles to see if indeed their work would fail or prosper. What must they have thought as the believers’ numbers swelled and signs and wonders followed the preaching of the Word? We know that some of the Pharisees converted (Acts 15:5).

    Thank you, God, that you would shake prison doors for the sake of a jailer and his family. Thank you for being a God that goes to all lengths to draw me to yourself. Help me to be receptive to your drawing, and give me the willingness to be a Paul and Silas for the salvation of others.

  5. Back in the 1950’s I worked as a Nurse’s Aide in a retirement home for one summer. The lady I think about the most was the one who could do nothing for herself. Her body was very rigid - she could do nothing for herself. With everything we did for her she thanked us and tried to smile. I never heard a complaint or criticism. When she would talk, and that could be difficult for her, it would be about her Jesus and how much she loved Him. Her living testimony is with me always. May I have that kind of love for Jesus.

  6. Sometimes, it's the simplest things we do that create a huge impact on others. Our simple gestures, our simple prayers, words of encouragement...we don't know what people are going through on a daily basis but, we can be a blessing to those who are hurting, strength to those who are weak, comfort to those who are in pain/despair, we can be a blessing in our actions.
    "Little deeds of kindness,
    little words of love,
    Make our Earth an Eden,
    Like the Heaven above."

    Let us allow our actions of Parise, be a blessing to others so that they too, can praise.

  7. Our Church has been going on Mission trips to build schools, churches and the like for 23 years. I have been on many trips but I remember on one particular trip in Ecuador, how praise specifically had an impact.

    The trips always have an spiritual impact on the small communities they help and on those that come to help on the project but on this particular trip there, was an unknown impact. Unknown that is until the Saturday night before we left. We usually stay in very modest, often cabin like facilities to keep the costs down but on this trip, we stayed in a very comfortable hotel in a nice little town a fair distance from our project. Each night as we always do, we had worship which includes a lot of prayer, praise songs, God sighting sharing and a brief presentation on a Bible verse or worship thought. On this trip, the nightly gathering took place in the hotels indoor/outdoor restaurant and the sounds flowed through the local community. On Saturday night when the project is complete, the singing and praise is always a little more enthusiastic. We are heading on to some short excursion before returning home.

    As we were completing our worship session on Saturday evening with songs of praise, a rather large part of the local community started to gather around. They came to find out why rich Americans would come to Ecuador to build a church. They wanted to know why we would do it ourselves and not just pay for it to be done. As it turned out, there was a natural theme that resounded amongst our group as we all mingled with the crowd and shared our answer with those who had gathered. As we bring the project to life, we individually gain as much of a personal blessing and spiritual growth as those we come to help. It was the praise songs and prayer that attracted the locals to investigate our group. About two years later, an Adventist Church was built in that community as well and we had no idea and no specific intent of evangelizing in that wealthy (by Ecuador standards) community when we arrived. God had other plans.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>