So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed. Acts 16:40
The imprisonment of Paul and Silas in Philippi presents a wide variety of eternal and practical treasures for our Christian lives. Yet, a timely passage for our encouragement is today’s verse. The magistrates had beaten and humiliated Paul and Silas (v22) on the accusation from the owners of the demonic slave girl (vv19-20), since Paul had cast out the spirit of divination (vv16-18). When the magistrates discovered Paul and Silas were Roman citizens (v37), the magistrates were afraid because they had broken the law (v38). Roman citizens could not be condemned in the empire without due process because Rome was a republic, a kingdom establish upon law. Paul’s citizenship came at birth in Tarsus, a city in the province of Cilicia (Acts 22:3). Tarsus was designated a free city by Rome; and thus, those born in Tarsus possessed citizenship. In Acts, Paul uses his citizenship three times: here (v38), at his arrest in Jerusalem (Acts 22), and in appealing to Caesar (Acts 25); yet, each time he employed his earthly “government” status, it was for the furtherance of the gospel and the advancement of Christ’s kingdom. Today, in a few areas of America, the freedoms of religion and assembly protected by the first amendment to the U.S. constitution are being thwarted and perverted. In California, the governor is placing severe restrictions upon the brethren in Christ. John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church held services against the governor’s order to close. “This is not a problem to be feared,” said Dr. MacArthur. “This is a triumphant hour for the church to be the church.” Paul and Silas ignored the magistrates request to leave the city and ministered unto Lydia and the brethren. In America today, we are fast seeing that we must come face to face with either the fear of men or the fear of God. I’ve personally sided with Pastor MacArthur on this issue and, on July 25th, signed their website's statement. As Peter and the apostles told the Sanhedrin of old, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Today's M'Cheyne Reading Schedule: 7/29 - Judg 12; Acts 16; Jer 25; Mark 11
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BREATHTAKING And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, and their clothing, his cupbearers, and their clothing,...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
SALVATION Salvation belongs to the LORD; Your blessing be on Your people! Selah Psalm 3:8 I’m blessed to incredible heights to read in the several places of Scripture that salvation is from the LORD (Psa 37:39), or is of the LORD (Psa...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
MURDER “You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
NAME All the day my enemies taunt me; those who deride me use my name for a curse. Psalm 102:8 Mr. Spurgeon calls this “the Patriot’s Plaint” in his famous The Treasury of David. It surely is the afflicted cry of one who loves...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
COMFORT Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 There has been in...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
SEE The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 In yesterday’s portion, we read of Jesus Himself expounding Scripture to the disciples while...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
SELFLESS “It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.” Romans 14:21 The fourteenth chapter of Romans is more about worship and proper Christian perspective than it is about food and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
CHRISTMAS “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on Me, on Him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
EXCEPTION Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 1 Peter 3:1-2 The typical and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
JUDGMENT This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. Amos 8:1 This may be perhaps the most important devotional I may ever write. Lord, help me to convey it for Your glory and our blessing. While many commentators, viz.,...[ abbreviated | read entire ]