Ripple Effects of Praise
Verse 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Have you ever dropped a stone in a puddle and watched the ripples roll in all different directions? Yesterday we were discussing the way Paul and Silas were praising in trust as they were bound and shackled in the dungeon. Today we look at how God used their praise and trust to work out his plans for their good and His glory.
Notice the end of verse 25. What do you think those other prisoners were thinking about these two guys singing and praying in the deepest part of the jail? It is likely many different thoughts and comments passing around. Maybe even some mocking and rolling of eyes. Others may have been sleeping or trying to sleep, it was midnight after all. But then there was a violent earthquake. It was such a strong earthquake that the jails foundation is rocked and the prisoners find that they are free from their chains.
Now we don’t know what these other prisoners were in for but I can’t think of many prisoners that would want to just stay in the prison if their chains were no longer holding them. The jailer knows that he will be responsible for all escaped prisoners and so decides to kill himself before the officials do. Before he can do it Paul shouts not to because everyone was still there. When the jailer saw that it was true he came through the rubble and fell at Paul and Silas’ feet asking what he had to do to be saved.
Right there Paul and Silas laid out the Gospel. Everyone who was in earshot heard a midnight sermon. The jailer takes them into his house and cleans their wounds and they baptize him and his household. And the jailer feeds them.
When we praise in the dungeons of life and earthquakes come and shake us we forget that there are those around us who are watching, and they notice how we handle the issues in life. Will they find us collapsing or praising?
Making It Personal
What would others see you doing in your dungeon? What do you see in those around you that are in a dungeon? Could someone come to know God by how you are spending your time in the dungeon?
Making It Personal Kids
Have mom or dad help you fill a bucket, dishpan or sink halfway. Now take small stones or small balls and drop them in the water. How big are the ripples? Did you know that how you act causes ripples too?
Father, help us be the witnesses You desire us to be. Give us songs of praise in the dungeons of life. In Jesus’ name, amen.