Searchfortreasure's Blog

…a Bible student's notes…

It is Easy to Give Thanks…….

….when you know FOR SURE that “every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”  James 1:17

Verse 18 continues with – “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures.”

What do you know FOR SURE?  I find that things that I know FOR SURE are for a surety the things that I know.  I’m old enough now that I can look back and see the hand of the Lord doing the good pleasure of His will in me.  Nearly all of them included hardships in circumstances. 

 I smile at Paul and Silas singing in prison.  Remember – Acts 16?  They had their robes torn off, had been inflicted with many blows with a rod, were thrown into the inner prison, and their feet locked in stocks  – all because Paul had commanded an evil spirit to come out of a slave girl.  (Who, by the way, was proclaiming the truth!)  This made her owners very angry because she had been a big profit to them by fortune-telling.

Then comes verse 25 – (I must confess that this is one of the prettiest verses to me in the Bible!)  This is the key verse to the rest of the chapter.  It might do you good to leave it out and read this whole situation without it.  But, here it is:

“But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;”  The guard must have been listening, too – even though at the time of the earthquake he was asleep.   How could he have asked the all-important question that he did? The earthquake loosened all the chains of every prisoner and opened all the doors so all could go “free.”

Note: that is NOT the way I have thought of earthquakes.  In the Old Testament, they had swallowed up a lot of people!  This one provided freedom!  And, no one took advantage of it!!  No, not one!  ALL the prisoners had been listening to prayers and songs of praises to God.

Has anyone ever overheard your prayers and praises?  – prayers and praises in your inner, dark prison – put there by the Lord, in chains –

Well, the guard knew what he had to do – kill himself immediately.  This was his watch and he had failed.  The prison doors were open.  He must be the only one left.  Then comes the next “prettiest” verse (28):

“But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Do yourself no harm, for we are ALL here!'”

This incident is leading to the two most-important verses; but for a second, think about the how the lives of all the prisoners were affected.  They could have been hardened criminals, planning their escapes, if possible, and the “way of escape” is opened before them, but they bear up under their imprisonment.

Oh – the power of prayer and praise!

This guard was trembling with fear when he fell down in front of Paul and Silas and asked:  “What must I do to be saved?”  (v.30)  The one and only time this direct question is asked in the Bible.  This is the only time in the Bible that the direct question gets a direct answer!  The “do” in verse 30 is answered by “believe.”  It is in a verb tense in the Greek that means a one-time happening that can never be taken back.

I often hear folks going into all kinds and different scriptures to show “once saved, always saved” – and, once saved, but lost over and over again.  They haven’t studied!!  It is done in only one word, in only one undisputable verb tense – the aorist tense of “believe.”

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.” (NASB)

Most of us stop there – before verse 32 – but verse 32 is just as important!

“And they spoke the word of the Lord (“Word of God” in ancient manuscripts) to him together with all who were in his house.”

The very next  “seed” planted in this household was the Word of the Kingdom – its lifestyle, promises, and inheritances.  THEN – all in this household were baptized!  And next?  Food and more rejoicing!

………………………………WHEW!  Excuse me.  “Necessity is laid upon me” to walk through my house doing some joyful noises!!

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November 23, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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