Scripture: (Acts 16:29-34)
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family. (New International Version)
This is a great story of redemption. Paul and Silas find themselves in prison. They are singing hymns and praying when an earthquake shakes the prison and all the cell doors fly open. The jailer comes rushing in believing everyone has escaped. Getting ready to kill himself Paul hollers out to him not to because all the prisoners are accounted for. The jailer trusts Jesus on the spot. No lengthy presentations, no debating, but at once he asks Paul & Silas, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul replies, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved and your entire household!” There is another observation here that makes this passage so amazing. Paul and Silas were in jail singing hymns. There was an old-fashioned hymn-sing going on here. The winsome manner in which Paul and Silas were treating their incarceration adds to the attractiveness of the gospel.
When my father died he was survived by six siblings. Our immediate family was the only line of Baldwin’s in the seven that had any Christ-followers in it. The rest of the Baldwin family was far from God those days. Today — fifty years later — you can find Christ-followers in almost all of the remaining six lines of Baldwin’s. At a recent family reunion there were more conversations re: faith than other topics. A far cry from when our family would gather at Christmas time and many would get drunk. I believe God is in the business of saving families. Paul told the jailer that salvation was available to his entire household. And they all trusted Jesus and were baptized. Perhaps you have un-believing family members — I know there are still cousins on the Baldwin and Hungerford (My Mom’s family) that are not believers yet. So keep praying for their salvation. God wants to save our entire families, not just us. Over time we will see him do great things among us. Don’t give up, keep praying.
Father God thank you for placing us in the midst of families. Thank you that you are in the business of saving families. Save members of the Baldwin and Hungerford families today. Bring salvation to our households I ask. I pray the same for all who read this blog today that anguish over the lostness of family members. Please give them hope through your Word today. I pray these things in the Saving Name of Jesus, Amen.