Tuesday, Revival in our families
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.
This is an incredible account of transformation of not only an individual, but also his family. The story begins with Paul and Silas in jail and the jailor is asleep. Paul and Silas are singing while all the other prisoners are listening, yet this jailor is evidently really tired, because he is still sleeping.
So many of our friends and enemies are asleep. Perhaps they are really tired as well. Maybe you have invited them to come to your new church to worship with you but they are either literally sleeping in their bed during your worship or they are figuratively missing out on celebrating life with Jesus as they choose other things instead.
The life, joy, hope and peace of Jesus is all around those who are sleeping. Sometimes the Holy Spirit changes hearts outside of our self-constructed box of how the Spirit should work. What is interesting, is that it wasn’t hearing the singing of praise songs that transformed the heart of this jailor. He was sleeping. Instead it’s the posture of Paul and Silas that continued after the singing, after the worship, after “church” dismissed.
During the singing, there was a great earthquake that open the cell doors, broke the chains shackled to their legs, and woke up the jailor. The jailor is awaken because of a great disruption, an great shaking. He thought he had failed keeping Paul and Silas in chains, and so he loses all hope and draws his sword to kill himself. How many of our friends and enemies are so close to losing all hope? Sometimes it’s not the proper posture of worship that transforms the heart, it’s the posture of forgiveness.
Paul and Silas could have watched the jailor kill himself, because he was their enemy, he had put them in chains. However, when they looked into the face of their enemy, they saw their brother. They saw the potential of family. So Paul shouts out to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”
The jailor commands for the torches to be lit as he looks for the light to shine upon the faces of those who would save his life. He is overcome when he looks into their faces and he asks Paul and Silas, “what must I do to be saved?”
The jailor’s life is transformed, then his whole oikos,( greek for family/extended family/house) is also transformed. Family revival happens because the Spirit works in uncommon, unexpected, unplanned ways. Family revival happens because we begin to see our enemies as potential family. May you begin to take a posture of forgiveness as you step into the many disruptions occurring in the lives of those around you. The Lord wants to add to his family. He has chosen us to look into faces and not see enemies but instead see family.
Lord, Help us to see people the way you do, as your children, as part of your family. Prepare our posture toward people to always be ready to share the hope we have in you. May we see the revival in our families as we live in the posture of forgiveness. Amen.