A. Acts 16:31. The Promise of God is salvation to all who places their trust in Jesus Christ.
B. Salvation is a free Gift. Ephesians 2:8-9 it clearly says: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
C. John 1:12. It is clear and promised: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
It is my humble desire to impart to you JESUS. Even as the disciples on the road to Emmaus. We can say even as they had experienced: “Their eyes were opened, and they knew him... And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us in the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
My dear friend it is in the Word of God where we can experience Jesus. We can find balance and wholeness only from saturating ourselves with the Word of God. In this day and age we can find that place of repose and peace by knowing Jesus personally. It does not matter! Concerning the time or how it has changed in relationship to old times or to modern. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.” God has designed this relationship with his Son Jesus “Before the foundation of the world” To be “...in Christ Jesus.” Yes sireee... “In Christ Jesus are hid all the riches of the glory of God.” He is the glory and the splendor of the image of God. “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell.”
I would like to focus our attention on this scene found in Acts 16. Here as we note are the two men of God in Church history that were instrumental in “turning the world upside down for Jesus.” Paul the apostle, and of course his companion Silas.
Now lets turn aside and see them closely. Verse 9 We see “Paul in the night... with a vision a man from Macedonia ...and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.” Well of course Paul “immediately ...endeavored to go into Macedonia. Assuredly gathering that the Lord had called...” them for to preach the gospel unto them.”
Verse 14 we see “a certain women named Lydia a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God,..whose heart the Lord opened.” My My, ...”whose heart the Lord opened.” Praise God! I
am thrilled to see in this case the relevance in how God takes pleasure in the work of evangelism. I would like to say in the mind of Christ we can develop a certainty he will lead us in like paths with people along the way “Whose hearts the Lord has opened.” This is the pattern of God. My friend I can say with assurance that you as well may have just arrived unaware of the dealings of the Spirit of God yet you have come to this place with a heart open and willing to receive. How? Can that be you say God has opened my heart? The God of the Holy Scriptures has the power to transform lives. He who made the stars to shine. Who hung the Universe into place the Moon to hang out there to shine at night The planets to twinkle at us with beauty is the Same God that can open the heart of any and all who would chose to respond to the call of salvation. With his still small voice you can hear his voice: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. And learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
So Lydia simply believed God with a heart open to receive as he would chose to fill. Of course Lydia received Christ Jesus into her heart. From that moment forward and on in her life she hungered and thirsted for the Word of God as we see in verses 15 and 16.
No matter who or how it takes place we always are going to experience the challenge, the confrontation in response to all our efforts in teaching, preaching and proclaiming Christ Jesus in the work of evangelism. Lets look on now as they’re in prayer a damsel possessed with a spirit of divination confronts them. In the midst of a victory as a new believer comes into the fold of God always we see a confrontation as the Word of God goes out with power and conviction. It can be noted throughout church history. We have the renown George Whitefield preaching in the hill country of England where it was said as he would preach he could be heard for up to 3 miles away. “His voice would carry under the anointing as far as the hearts doors would be...Open and Ready to receive the eternal seed the Living Word of God.” Then again we are told of the mighty preaching of John Wesley Whom carried on Whitefield’s work in the open air preaching he would have hundreds waiting as he would arrive to begin proclaiming the glorious Word. Then among these hundreds of hungering souls would be his critics ready and waiting to do wicked exploits, That would have rotten vegetables, fruits and the such thinking they would be able to ambush him with a form of barrage. However, the power of God it is recorded would over whelm them with such power they would be unable to carry out their goal and destructive plans. In some cases these wicked men were thrown to the ground by the very power of God.
Now we come to this place in Verses 17 through 24 of Acts 16 “The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.” It says: “this did she many days,” It is inevitably obvious by all who is on looking, observing our conduct and manner of lifestyle. They can as well make the distinction, these be they as spoken hear: “The servants of the Most High God.” It should give us a sense of affirmation as we strive to walk with Jesus seeking to be as he was in this world.
As Paul saw right through her under the power of God. She needed deliverance. Her heart was in bonds in the very prescebist of the jaws of hell. He cast out the strong man and delivered unto her “The Jaws of Life.” The Good News, The Evangelio. The “Buenas Nuevas”, The Gospel! Jesus Christ and his glorious resurrection.
Then the trouble kicks into high gear. Verse 22 “the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.” It is recorded in verse 23 “They had laid many stripes upon them.” At which time they were locked up in jail.
There you have it. Placed in jail for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Have you ever been placed in jail for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Now if it were you or I would we be found as Paul and Silas singing praises unto God and praying?
It is my conviction, wherever it is. I speak in regards to your personal experience: Concerning that obscure moment. God will be giving you the glory to pass through whatever trial it maybe. He will shine on you with his glory and power. Isaiah 26:2-4 We can find theses words: “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” As we pass through: “...the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Isaiah 43:2.
As they lived unto God regardless of the outcome they experientially bred an atmosphere for the miraculous.Can this be said of us as we seek to follow Christ?
Then they’re at it again. In the very midst of this time of worship an earthquake takes place, the prison doors are flung open then they are loosed from their shackles.
Has your praying, or preaching and praises ever resulted in an earthquake?
It is my thoughts merely as a simple minded person, We can do the same as Paul and Silas. Maybe not replicate the same experience. However, We can experience the same miraculous power of God. ...“It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32.
That is the very point. That one soul may come to know Christ Jesus in the midst of the dilemma. Not only did this Jail Guard accept the Lord Jesus Christ but his family like wise believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. With a simple believing heart as it says in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast.” That’s it! We have nothing in our selves to boast of or brag on. It is all of God. A free gift. All we are required to do is receive this gift of God as a free
Gift. All on the merits of the finished work of Calvary’s Cross where Jesus bled and died in our place. Yes as our substitute dying in our place. “He who knew no sin became sin for us... that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” II Cor. 5:21.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12.
Bro. Roberto L. Choleva