Our Daily Bread 10th July 2020 Friday Devotional – Not Taking Advantage
TODAY’S TOPIC: NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE
Bible in a Year: Job 41–42; Acts 16:22–40
Key Verse: Don’t harm yourself! We are all here! – Acts 16:28
Today’s Scripture: Acts 16:22–34 (NIV)
22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
Insight: Our Daily Bread 10th July 2020 Friday Devotional
The jailer’s story in Acts 16:19–34 is intriguing. It’s possible he was a slave tasked with guarding the prison. According to Roman law, a jailer who let prisoners escape was to be executed (see 12:19). Evidently suicide was preferable to execution. But Paul stopped the jailer just in time (16:28). As a result, the guard asked about how he could be saved. He and his household placed their faith in God for salvation and were baptized (vv. 31–34).
Message: Our Daily Bread 10th July 2020 Friday Devotional
Several inmates were collecting roadside garbage to reduce their jail time when their supervisor, James, collapsed. They rushed to his aid and realized he was having a medical emergency. One inmate borrowed James’ phone to call for help. The sheriff’s department later thanked the inmates for helping get their supervisor prompt medical attention, especially because they could have instead neglected him—to his great detriment as he was having a stroke—or used the situation to their own advantage to escape.
The kindness of the inmates’ actions is not unlike those of Paul and Silas when they were imprisoned. After they’d been stripped, beaten, and thrown into prison, an earthquake struck so violently that it loosed their chains and shook the prison doors off their hinges (Acts 16:23–26).
When the jailer awoke, he naturally assumed the prisoners had fled, so he prepared to take his own life (to preempt what would’ve been his punishment for their escape). When Paul shouted, “We are all here!” (v. 28) the jailer was so moved by their actions—uncharacteristic of prisoners—that he became curious about the God they worshiped, ultimately coming to believe in Him too (vv. 29–34).
The way we treat others reveals what we believe and value. When we choose to do good instead of harm, our actions might just prompt them to wonder about the God we know and love. By: Kirsten Holmberg
Reflect: In what situation can you choose to not take advantage for your own gain? How might that decision benefit someone else?
Today’s Prayer: Loving God, help me to make choices that will draw others to You.
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