Daily Devotional: Tuesday 12th May

by William Moody

Acts 16:35–40

35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.” 36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.” 38 The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens. 39 So they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. 40 So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed.

(ESV)

This last part of the chapter is one that can easily be overlooked in light of the other dramatic events, but there is important teaching here.

Paul believed in turning the other cheek when insulted, but he also believed in using the law to protect not just himself but other believers (v36-37). Paul’s strong and brave actions here shook the authorities (v38-39). They are reminded that there can be an accounting which has to be done in response to wrong treatment of Roman citizens. How much more will there be an accounting demanded by the King of heaven for when His people are mistreated?

Paul’s actions were not just for himself but for this fledgling church, to help to encourage them and protect them in the future.

Pray for those in our country and across the world who work to protect the rights of God’s suffering people. Pray for the persecuted church.

After being released Paul encourages the believers before moving on (v40). Our lives should be filled with encouraging words for our fellow believers.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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