Salvation: The Divine Imperative
Of the many individuals who were touched through the ministry of Paul while on his second missionary journey, three are specifically mentioned. His first convert was Lydia, a businesswoman; the second was a young lady who had been used and manipulated by her masters so that they could profit financially. But, when she was saved, her masters were offended because their bank account had closed and so they had Paul and Silas taken before the magistrates on false allegations and they were subsequently, beaten and thrown into prison.
Paul and Silas were escorted to the lowered dungeon, uncomfortable, in chains, mistreated, hurting and still probably bleeding from the beatings. One would expect them to be belligerent, angry, complaining but instead we find them singing and rejoicing. At midnight when it would seem they would have been trying to rest and soothe themselves, they prayed and sang praises to God.
Now the prison guard was in charge and it is interesting that Scripture omits any reference to his telling the prisoners to cease and desist with their noisy singing and praying. In fact, he goes to them with a question of utter urgency. Instead of telling them what to do, he was asking them what to do.
In this paradoxical turn of events, an important question was raised. After hearing about Paul and Silas' ministry and now hearing them rejoicing in their suffering in the midnight hour, he began to realize that they apparently had something that he did not. This devoted servant of the Roman government sensed the need for a new allegiance. He turns to Paul and Silas and asked that all important question that all seekers of truth must ask: What must I do to be saved?
The jailer wanted to know, What must I do to be saved? He was not playing with them or mocking them or trying to "get their goat." Neither was he asking this question for purposes of conversation to keep from being bored. Rather, he asked this question out of a sincere desire to know how to receive salvation. We understand this because the word "must" communicates a sense of urgency. It implies something that needs to be addressed and cannot be avoided. It is an a divine imperative; the same imperative that sent Jesus to the cross.
Calvary to Christ was not an if, or a maybe, but a must. Consult your Bibles and observe how frequently Jesus used the word, must.
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Matthew 16:21
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. Matthew 24:6
But the Scriptures must be fulfilled." Mark 14:49.
Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" Luke 2:49.
"I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent." Luke 4:43.
"Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house." Luke 19:5.
For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: Luke 22:37.
?All things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." Luke 24:44.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, John 3:14.
I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. John 9:4.
Jesus repeatedly said "I MUST" and this prison guard wanted to know what must I do to be saved. It was a pressing matter, an issue of ultimate concern. He was not interested in what others needed to know. It was his own soul that concerned him right now. Let others do as they please, but I need to know what it is I must do; what course must I take, what tasks must I complete.
This jailer understood that something needed to be done and that it needed to be done by him. The question of salvation is a personal one. There is no salvation by proxy. The jailer was ready and willing and wanted to know what he had to do. Paul gives him the simple gospel: Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. That is it! No long drawn our procedures; no written applications or exams, no probationary periods.
The question of our salvation is one that we cannot escape. Sooner or later, somehow, some time, in some way, the question will rise up before you ? What must I do to be saved? And to experience salvation, we have to investigate our own life under the probing spotlight of this eternal question.
Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' John 3:7
There is no other way of salvation than through Christ Jesus our Lord and no other way of being saved but by believing in Him. And the moment you take that step, whether you are 6 or 106; whether you can comprehend the theology of the Trinity or can even spell it, whether you are in a great cathedral or your bedroom, the moment you believe and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are welcomed into His Christian fold.
Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, veteran social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach which can be reviewed on her site. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, is expected to be available soon.
You are welcome to visit AMEN Ministries: Your Soul's Service Station for spiritual refreshing, soul edification, browse our newly expanded mini shopping mall or review our recommended books you may want to add to your personal library.
Blessings to all!
Trust is Prosperity
A while back the Lord had given me this message which has prompted me to study it further and find out just what He meant. He told me, "Trust is Prosperity". Somehow I felt His love surround me and I wasn't quite sure what He meant, but I knew that my trust in Him would prosper me in ways I had not even thought about, not just financial. Prosperity engulfs many things, both physical and spiritual. It could be our health, our attitudes, the condition of our spiritual life, and somehow I think the financial end of it is on the far end of this prosperity. I realize that first we must be spiritualy whole before the material prosperity ever enters in to the picture.
How Its Always Now
How do we feel the fullness of life itself?
As we proceed further into the 21st century there is even more of a feeling that humanity as a whole is hearing "a calling". Most of the clients in the realm that talk about this describe it as an "awakening" or experiencing an "enlightenment" or a "need for transformation."
Using Your Spiritual Path Against Yourself
In looking back at my process over the years I have noticed an interesting phenomenon that I refer to as "using my path to go against myself." This behavior may be a surprise to many of you?.but as programmed ego minds we have been trained to use our life situations to go against ourselves since we were small. We have learned from those around us to use other people to raise our blood pressure, prove that we are not good enough, affirm that we will never be loved or that life is unfair. Unfortunately, the list of way we use others to hurt ourselves is endless.
A Bellyful of Mindfulness
Taco Bell, the Mexican fast-food franchise, has a new ad campaign focusing on the slogan, "Get full." The commercials show people ecstatically announcing that they are full--thanks, of course, to the huge value meals now available at Taco Bell.
Living Successfully - Spiritual Answers for Modern Day Desires: Part 1
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts, and see if any wicked way is in me; and lead me in the way everlasting
Anam Chara - Telling Your Story
We as human beings travelled in small bands for hundreds of thousands of years.
A Beautiful Mind is a Simple Mind!!
In the movie "A Beautiful Mind" John Nash (played by Russell Crowe) is a schizophrenic math genius who struggles with is inability to have peace of mind. In one scene he bangs his head on the window until it bleeds, begging his mind to slow down, all the while having a conversation with his imaginary roommate, Charles.
Past Life: Wanting to Know Who I was in My Past Life?
Before we tread into the domain of Past Life... we need to understand the present and the future carefully. Before indulging in our Past Life we also need to know the purpose of life journey as a whole.
What Is The Secret of Life?
The question isn't, "Is there life after death."
Two Simple Ways To Get Anything You Want
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." ~ Luke 6:38
Understanding the Gospel of Matthew and Why it Matters - Part 10
Matthew 3:7-10John Rebukes the Pharisees and Sadducees
I come face to face with self whenever you come into my life and I want to thank you.
Life According to Green Principles: SoulBest
Green Principles: SoulBest
Understanding the Gospel of Matthew and Why it Matters - Part 7
Matthew 2:19-23The Return to Nazareth
Ego, Duality, and Paradise (Why You Cant Get to Paradise on an Ego Trip)
If you've been on a conscious spiritual journey for any time at all, you have likely figured out that there is an aspect of you that is working overtime to keep you out of Nirvana. That pesky entity is none other than your ego. Your ego, however, does not realize it is a problem; instead, it believes itself to be your heroic savior and the only thing standing between you and extinction. Indeed, the ego is correct in this-without your ego, there would be no "you." Your ego is the aspect of your psyche that maintains the idea that you are an individuated, separate, autonomous being. Laboring under this notion, it attempts to steward your life according to this model, and rebels at the notion that you are actually one with all Creation.
The One Who Heals
It's late. But it's usually those words that you cannot sleep without getting down that are the ones worth saying the most?these moments are few and far between- especially when one learns that it is better to listen than to speak.
Life After Life - Death Is Merely a Changing Room
Since I awoke from my three month coma in August of 2004, I have been asked many times about what I remembered and experienced. After looking over my notes and speaking with my wife and some of the medical professionals involved, I decided that it might be a good idea to write a short overview of these experiences. They were both wonderful and frightening, but the lessons I learned and the "gift" I was given are worth more than anything I could ever experience again.
Life as a Human/Medium/Psychic Being
We often forget that we are human beings first, and that there is nothing wrong about our making mistakes or having troubles in life ? it is all a part of our growth. We have to allow ourselves to be in situations that can bring us in different direction in our lives. So then, how would you describe yourself?
What does the story of your life say about you? Does it speak of heroic journeys into new and exciting lands of achievement and growth? Or is it an angry and repetitive diatribe against the vagaries of a wantonly malicious universe? Does it sing with finely crafted phrasing and uplifting themes? Or is it plodding, dreary and full of errors, omissions and clichés?
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