By: Sarah Bishop

Posted: March 25, 2023

Category: Daily Devotional

Acts 16:25-34

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.’ The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them outside and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They answered, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.

Wow, to feel the ground and walls shake, wouldn’t that bring anyone to their knees? A jailer is shaken from sleep and seeing the cells open, he expected his life to be over. And instead, he hears a voice from the darkness, from those whom he’s supposed to see as dangerous. He’d heard about these treacherous and bad, Christians, he expected them to break out when the prison doors and chains were broken, with no thought of him. The understanding of freedom is turned upside down when that voice assures him, they have not left. Freedom and salvation take on a whole new meaning when the jailer invites them home and his whole family is baptized. They enjoy a meal in celebration and fellowship. The taste of that meal must have been heavenly for all.


Earthshaking Lord, we breath in the joy of salvation and new life found in you, may it be deep and permeate our whole being. May that freedom embolden us to break chains and shake up expectations of what is a Christian. Instead, may we share words of salvation and abundant meals of hospitality, in your powerful name, Amen.