22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. 27The 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. 28But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!" 29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The 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 family. 35When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: "Release those men." 36The jailer told Paul, "The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace."
- Paul and Silas were unjustly put in jail. However, their response to being in jail and beaten was to pray and sing hymns. How does your response to opposition to and suffering for the gospel compare and contrast to that of Paul and Silas?
- The jailer was so affected by Paul and Silas’ behavior that he made his prisoners feel at home with his family, Paul and Silas baptized the family, they ate a festive meal together while nobody had any idea what would happen to Paul and Silas the next day. What an amazing outcome out of suffering and injustice.
- Paul and Silas speak the truth of the gospel as well as living it out. How do you give both a verbal and a living witness to Jesus?
- Ask God to give you courage as you step in faith to obey him, to tell those around you about the good news that has transformed your life. (Refer to the Prayer Guidelines on p??.)
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Do a Bible skit using this passage. Decide how many characters in the skit, assign the different roles. Record the decision on your Family Devotional Journal. Enjoy a dramatic rendition of this incredible episode.
Prayer & Journaling: On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today 14:1-4
1 The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. 2 Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is devious in his ways despises him. 3 By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them. 4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.