A Congregation of Conservative Evangelical Christians

“Our Daily Bread” Devotion July 10th, 2020

July 10 | Bible in a Year: Job 41-42; Acts 16:22-40

Not Taking Advantage
Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!
Acts 16:28
READ ACTS 16:22–34

Several inmates were collecting roadside garbage to reduce their jail time when their supervisor, James, collapsed. They rushed to his aid and realized he was having a medical emergency. One inmate borrowed James’ phone to call for help. The sheriff’s department later thanked the inmates for helping get their supervisor prompt medical attention, especially because they could have instead neglected him—to his great detriment as he was having a stroke—or used the situation to their own advantage to escape.
The kindness of the inmates’ actions is not unlike those of Paul and Silas when they were imprisoned. After they’d been stripped, beaten, and thrown into prison, an earthquake struck so violently that it loosed their chains and shook the prison doors off their hinges (Acts 16:23-26). When the jailer awoke, he naturally assumed the prisoners had fled, so he prepared to take his own life (to preempt what would’ve been his punishment for their escape). When Paul shouted, “We are all here!” (v. 28) the jailer was so moved by their actions—uncharacteristic of prisoners—that he became curious about the God they worshiped, ultimately coming to believe in Him too (vv. 29-34).
The way we treat others reveals what we believe and value. When we choose to do good instead of harm, our actions might just prompt them to wonder about the God we know and love.
By Kirsten Holmberg
Loving God, help me to make choices that will draw others to You.
In what situation can you choose to not take advantage for your own gain? How might that decision benefit someone else?

The jailer’s story in Acts 16:19-34 is intriguing. It’s possible he was a slave tasked with guarding the prison. According to Roman law, a jailer who let prisoners escape was to be executed (see 12:19). Evidently suicide was preferable to execution. But Paul stopped the jailer just in time (16:28). As a result, the guard asked about how he could be saved. He and his household placed their faith in God for salvation and were baptized (vv. 31-34). Julie Schwab