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God Saves in the Strangest of Ways . . .

The Baptism of Our Lord

God Saves in the Strangest of Ways . . .

Text:  Acts 16:25-34


The doors were banging.  The shackles were clanging.  Furniture was quivering.  People were shivering.  The foundations were shaking.  The prisoners were waking.  The jailer was quaking.  Chaos!

Earthquakes were common to the city of Philippi, but this particular one was troubling, especially for the jailer.  He had been charged with an important task—guarding Paul and Silas.  The day before the two missionaries had been arrested because of a riot.  They had cast a demon out of a slave girl and she couldn’t make her masters money any more.  So they seized Paul and Silas, stirred up the crowds, had them severely flogged and beaten, and threw them in jail.  The city officials charged the jailer, Guard them carefully.”

Not only did he have the responsibility of keeping the other prisoners under lockdown, but now he had two high profile inmates on his hands.  So he put them in the inner cell and locked their feet in stocks.

But that night the jailer awoke to a nightmare.  There had been such a violent earthquake that the prison itself was shaken.  The prison doors flew open.  All the chains had come loose.  Read the rest of this entry

Bible in a Year, Week 9: Philippians, Colossians

This is the ninth weekly reading in the plan for reading your Bible in one year. The assignment for this week is Philippians and Colossians. It should only take about 5 minutes a day, or about 1-2 chapters a day to complete the assignment.

Here are some comments to help you grow in knowledge and faith as you read Philippians and Colossians:

Background: Philippi had become an important city under King Philip (its namesake) and his son Alexander the Great. As world powers shifted, it also became an important city under the rule of the Roman Empire. Philippi was made a Roman colony and many Roman soldiers retired to that city.

Paul first visited Philippi on his second missionary journey. Acts 16 tells us of the amazing events that took place there, and the great work that God accomplished. He also visited twice on his third missionary journey. It is very clear that Paul was writing this letter while imprisoned. It seems as though he wrote this while under house arrest between 61-63 A.D. He wrote to encourage them to remain steadfast in their faith, and to share with them the great joy that all believes have in their Savior Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1: Paul opens again with the standard form for his letters. Three parts can be identified: 1) Author, 2) Audience, 3) Greeting/Blessing. As a theme for the book of Philippians is joy and rejoicing, Paul had much joy as he considered his brothers and sisters at Philippi. He was very thankful for them, their faith, and their partnership in the work of sharing the good news about Jesus. Now it was his prayer that they would keep it up! Read the rest of this entry