Thursday, June 19, 2014
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them” (Acts 16:25 KJV).
The third verse of William R. Newell’s classic 1895 hymn “At Calvary” highlights today’s Scripture.
“Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing
In 2 Timothy 1:11,12, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” Some 35 years earlier, Paul had entrusted his very soul to Jesus Christ. The Apostle, in prison awaiting execution, knew that, no matter what happened to his physical body, his soul was secure in Christ. Never would his Saviour disappoint him.
Once, when we were “children of pride,” Satan was our king (Job 41:34). Now, we recognize Jesus Christ as King in our lives. Paul’s doxology, 1 Timothy 1:17, reminds us: “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Verse 16 says we praise Jesus Christ because of His “mercy and longsuffering” that caused Him to save us).
In Acts chapter 16, Paul and Silas, having just been beaten and whipped for preaching the Gospel of Grace, sat in a Philippian jail with their feet chained. Despite all their troubles, they sang praises to the Lord Jesus Christ—and the prisoners heard them (today’s Scripture)! Evidently, now, they were singing about the Gospel of Grace, for the Philippian jailor later asked them, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). Their timeless reply was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (verse 31).
We have relied on Jesus Christ for our soul salvation. Hence, our delighted souls cannot help but remember that our eternal life began at Calvary’s cruel cross where the Son of God died. What a song we can sing, even in the midst of heartache! 🙂