JESUS SAVES

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DAY 92

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 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.

Acts 16:23-26

Josh K:
Imagine a church that fully believes this, lives this, and now no longer wastes energy on trying to justify themselves—but because of the grace of Jesus, now they use all that energy to build the lives of others, love others and build His church.

Our God is amazing because He did it all for us. It’s so interesting because in Acts 16 the jailer asks the question, “What must I do to be saved?” It’s an interesting question and an important one. Once we realize we need saving and we need help in life, our approach is similar to this jailer: we approach God as if we must do something to save ourselves.

But there is no “I DO” in grace. There is only “He HAS DONE!”

So Paul’s and Silas’s response is beautiful because there is only one thing we must do, that is to believe. To believe is to trust—and to trust is to say to God, “I can’t save myself; only You can do that.” When you trust, you entrust your life into His hands. You are saying, “I’m no longer my savior, I’m no longer my own king.” You are recognizing that when we are king of ourselves, the rule and reign of our kingdom—our lives—is not what it should be.  

But rather believing that JESUS SAVES is now us trusting in the King that can truly save and help, and give us new life. “Jesus Saves,” for me, sums up in two words what every human heart is desiring to hear. It’s the news we have all been hoping for. And now we know it’s true and our trust is therefore in Him, because Jesus saves.


TRANSFORMED BY GRACE

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DAY 91

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 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.

Acts 16:23-26

Filmore B:
As I think about our Jesus Saves series I’m so encouraged by the consistency of God’s grace woven through every single encounter and story. From the woman at the well who received a living water that satisfies her soul’s thirst, to the man born blind who received physical and spiritual sight, to the lame man outside of the gate of beautiful who was healed through the name of Jesus—over & over we see God’s initiative to meet us at whatever our point of need is.

He meets us there with grace and then transforms us by grace. Grace, for me, has moved from a concept to a reality. Grace is Jesus. And He Saves, in every way.

 


Josh K:
This series has been truly significant for our church. All of us together being reminded that it is not we who need to save ourselves but it is Jesus who has already saved us. Are we simply willing to trust what He has already done?

Jesus saves. When I say this simple statement it is as if my heart leaps with joy and my mind is filled with relief.  Jesus saves. He doesn’t partially save me He totally and completely saves me. The weight of my sin and the need to prove myself and my worth is relieved in the belief that Jesus Saves.

RICH DEEP FAITH

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DAY 90

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 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. // Acts 16:23-26

Filmore B:
Beaten and jailed unjustly, Paul & Silas had every natural right to complain and get bitter. They could’ve said: "Look at where serving Jesus has gotten me. This sucks. I'm not doing this anymore.”

 

But they chose to worship. They understood they were called to a higher purpose than themselves. And not only were their lives impacted by their worship, the other prisoners doors flew open and the jailer received salvation. This dark moment for them allowed the light of God to be ever more magnified.

 

Georgie K:
I suppose it's actually worse not to go through trials because then there is no forming and refinement of our character, for our purpose and calling. And it's a shame when we don't fully let the trial do its work in our lives.

I love what Spurgeon wrote: "I've learned to kiss the waves that throws me up against the rock of ages.” He had learned to rejoice in the trial. Praise is powerful, worship is powerful—to worship God even when we don't understand what's going on in our lives is true, rich deep, faith.

 

REJOICE IN OUR TRIALS

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DAY 89

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 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. // Acts 16:23-26

 

Filmore B:
It's amazing to me how our trials are often the biggest opportunities for the glory of Christ to be seen in us. I wonder if that should change our perspective on how we go through trying seasons. Instead of asking God, "why me?” we could be asking Him, "What is it that you want to do in and through me in this season?"

 

 

Georgie Kelsey:
Yes! Our trials exist to form and shape us for the purpose God has for us. And that's why the Bible says "Count it all joy when you face trials of many kinds…” (see James 1).

Peter needed his wilderness trial (when he denied Christ 3 times) to ready him to be bold at proclaiming the resurrected Christ in the beginning of the early church. We also see the same for David, in his wilderness experience, and Joseph, who had a dream but didn't have the character for it, so he spent 12 years of trial before he was released into his calling!

The stories and examples are endless, but will we be people who can understand the purpose of our trials and "rejoice" in them because we know God is forming us?

 

 

REVELATION IN OUR HEARTS

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DAY 88

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 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. // Acts 16:23-26

Filmore B:
I love that the other “prisoners” were listening to them and, as I think on that, I’ve been asking myself: What does my praise say about His salvation in my life? And how do we respond to trials (work, school, relationships)?

 

Jesus saves us so that we can give Him praise no matter our circumstances. Because we are saved and secure in His grace, our praise is no longer dictated by our circumstances.

 

Josh K:
Beautiful questions for all of us.What are others hearing through our lives? Do they hear the praise of God? Or the complaint of man?

 

Filmore B:
The sound on our lips is indicative of the revelation in our heart.

 

Josh K:
Yes!! Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. May His praise ever be on our lips.

NEW REALITY

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DAY 87

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 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.

Acts 16:23-26

Filmore B:
This story about Paul and Silas in Acts 16 is so fascinating to me, because it shows the REALITY of what it means to be saved by Jesus.

 

Josh K:
That we could be the kind of church we see in Acts 16, a church of freedom because we live in the freedom of Christ. The liberty that He has proclaimed. They were imprisoned yet free and they were chained yet loosed on the inside.

So their inner freedom created a new outer reality. Liberty in Christ can never be imprisoned by this world. The language of freedom is praise!! And praise shows others who He is.

Filmore B:
I love that Jesus releases us so that we can release others.

Josh K:
So that others end up being free as well!! Amen!!

 

SIMPLE FAITH

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DAY 86

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 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. // Acts 16:23-26

 

Amy C:    
It’s fascinating that the jailer wants to know what he has to do and, like with any encounter with grace, the “doing” is practically nothing—it’s just believing!

Filmore B:
Nothing more. Nothing less. Simple faith. I also love the response of Paul and Silas in the midst of such an “unfair” trial: Praise! They worshipped God. The sound on our lips is indicative of the revelation in our heart.

Amy C:
Right! They could’ve complained to God instead of praising Him. But they chose to praise Him, despite their situation. They probably even sang “take these shackles of my feet so I can dance!”

Filmore: B
Exactly. I love that our outer imprisonment doesn’t have to impact our inner freedom. What must we “do” to be rescued from the thing in our life that imprison us? Just believe. The freedom is in the believing.

 

FREEDOM TO BRING FREEDOM

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DAY 85

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

Acts 16:25-30

FILMORE B:
I love how the heart of God comes through in this story about Paul & Silas’ release from prison. His heart is to deliver us from everything and anything that binds us. I love the picture of Jesus releasing them out of their imprisonment, but also using their freedom to bring freedom to the jailer.

Jesus releases us, so that through us, He can release others!

AMY C:
I think it’s the jailer’s question that really hits home for me: “what must I do to be saved?” It’s like people all across the gospels were asking that question, but in their own way. For example, Nicodemus wanted to know how to be reborn, or the rich young ruler wants to know how to inherit eternal life (because he thinks he’s already inherited all there is for this life).

 

And this jailer is so desperate for salvation—this seems to be such a real cry of the human heart, to be saved. The jailer had actually seen “salvation” in the form of the earthquake and then his own life being spared, so he knows what he’s asking for when he asks for salvation. Therefore “what must i do to be saved?” has a whole new meaning for him!