So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed. Acts 16:40
The imprisonment of Paul and Silas in Philippi presents a wide variety of eternal and practical treasures for our Christian lives. Yet, a timely passage for our encouragement is today’s verse. The magistrates had beaten and humiliated Paul and Silas (v22) on the accusation from the owners of the demonic slave girl (vv19-20), since Paul had cast out the spirit of divination (vv16-18). When the magistrates discovered Paul and Silas were Roman citizens (v37), the magistrates were afraid because they had broken the law (v38). Roman citizens could not be condemned in the empire without due process because Rome was a republic, a kingdom establish upon law. Paul’s citizenship came at birth in Tarsus, a city in the province of Cilicia (Acts 22:3). Tarsus was designated a free city by Rome; and thus, those born in Tarsus possessed citizenship. In Acts, Paul uses his citizenship three times: here (v38), at his arrest in Jerusalem (Acts 22), and in appealing to Caesar (Acts 25); yet, each time he employed his earthly “government” status, it was for the furtherance of the gospel and the advancement of Christ’s kingdom. Today, in a few areas of America, the freedoms of religion and assembly protected by the first amendment to the U.S. constitution are being thwarted and perverted. In California, the governor is placing severe restrictions upon the brethren in Christ. John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church held services against the governor’s order to close. “This is not a problem to be feared,” said Dr. MacArthur. “This is a triumphant hour for the church to be the church.” Paul and Silas ignored the magistrates request to leave the city and ministered unto Lydia and the brethren. In America today, we are fast seeing that we must come face to face with either the fear of men or the fear of God. I’ve personally sided with Pastor MacArthur on this issue and, on July 25th, signed their website's statement. As Peter and the apostles told the Sanhedrin of old, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Today's M'Cheyne Reading Schedule: 7/29 - Judg 12; Acts 16; Jer 25; Mark 11
If you don’t have one, get a free PDF copy of Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Calendar by Clicking Here.
Jon Cardwell writes devotional thoughts like the one above & sends them via email daily. Go to www.calvarybaptistninilchik.com/devotionals.html or click the optional weblink below.
NAME All the day my enemies taunt me; those who deride me use my name for a curse. Psalm 102:8 Mr. Spurgeon calls this “the Patriot’s Plaint” in his famous The Treasury of David. It surely is the afflicted cry of one who loves...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
COMFORT Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 There has been in...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
SEE The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 In yesterday’s portion, we read of Jesus Himself expounding Scripture to the disciples while...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
SELFLESS “It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.” Romans 14:21 The fourteenth chapter of Romans is more about worship and proper Christian perspective than it is about food and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
CHRISTMAS “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on Me, on Him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
EXCEPTION Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 1 Peter 3:1-2 The typical and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
JUDGMENT This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. Amos 8:1 This may be perhaps the most important devotional I may ever write. Lord, help me to convey it for Your glory and our blessing. While many commentators, viz.,...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
JEHU But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin. 2 Kings 10:31 Pronounced in Hebrew, Jehu’s name would sound like...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
LIMPING And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21 Most every Christian is acquainted with...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
RUBBISH Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ Philippians 3:8 Years ago, a...[ abbreviated | read entire ]