Acts 16:22–25 (NLT)
22 A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23 They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. 24 So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. 25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love that passage in Acts 16. Paul and Silas loved the Lord and wouldn’t allow any circumstances, no matter how uncomfortable, keep them from praising their sovereign God and King. AND… others noticed! You know what happened afterward as the jailer and his family came to saving faith. And after all that, they went to the home of another new convert, Lydia, and encouraged the brethren. Say what?!? Yes, the ones who had been falsely arrested, beaten, thrown into a prison, clamped in stocks, went to encourage others! My playful mind hears them chanting to us, “We love Jesus, yes we do, we love Jesus, how about you?”
Do you love Jesus like that? Do you live to sing His praises and encourage the brethren to do the same? Would you keep praising Him even if you were treated unjustly? Would you keep praising Him even if it was horribly uncomfortable to do so? I think the Lord Jesus Christ is worth that and so much more. He is doing a mighty work in our lives during this Covid-19 season conforming us to His image (Rom. 8:28-30). And He is calling us to sing His praises so the watching world can hear about Him and the mighty things He can do in their lives as well.
This Sunday night -UPDATE- OUR OUTDOOR WORSHIP SERVICE AT 6PM IS CANCELLED DUE TO POOR AIR QUALITY…We will sing God’s praises and study Psalm 47. It is a wonderfully encouraging psalm about God as not only our King, but the King of the whole world. He is a King who delivers His people. He is a King who is worthy of praise. He is worthy of being praised even when we are required to practice social distancing and wear masks. And it is so much fun to see some of our neighbors react as they walk or drive by and hear us singing the Lord’s praises. Perhaps some of them will soon be like the jailer and ask us “What must I do to be saved?” Perhaps some of you desperately need to see other believers and hear their songs of praise and words of encouragement. I know I sure miss seeing all of you and would love to see as many of you as possible come.
And please watch the morning worship service as well. We are prerecording them now so there shouldn’t be any problems with freezing unless it’s the equipment on your end. This Sunday we will continue looking at the main section of the book of James in chapter 3 verses 13-18. Pray before you listen to the message as it will challenge you deeply to be skillful in applying God’s truth to every area of your life.
And thank you for your sacrificial giving so we could minister to the police. We have done 3 of the 4 police stations now and will do the final one (Topanga Station) on Wednesday, Sept. 16th. The officers are loving the In-N-Out meals and the personalized thank you cards. Pray that they will also read the Gideon New Testaments and/or give them to others who will.
I love you! I miss you! I hope to see you Sunday night so we can praise and worship and learn from our great God and King.