Acts 16:25-34 Video Devotional

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.” (Acts 16:25-34)

Definitely not the first jail rescue performed by the Holy Spirit, but a very interesting one, to say the least. Paul and Silas were in prison in Philippi after removing an evil spirit from a slave girl. They were beaten and thrown in prison; jailed in stocks. And then the two men prayed and sang hymns. Talk about an attitude of obedience!

The Holy Spirit breaks them out with an earthquake, but then a curious thing happens. Before the guys get out of the jail, they see the guard prepare to kill himself over his “failure”. Instead of running (the seemingly wise choice), they stayed provided a physical and spiritual rescue for the jailer. He then leads them to his house where his whole family gets saved.

Think about a situation you were in that you couldn’t wait to get out of. And then you had your chance to get out. Would you have stayed in for the benefit of the one who was holding you there? Paul and Silas nearly sacrificed themselves for the salvation of this man and his family. Talk about confidence in God! Paul was so confident in God’s plan that he didn’t think for one minute about himself or his safety, but about bringing peace to the enemy.

Would you be willing to risk your freedom (or your life) for someone who could be considered an enemy? That should be a difficult question to answer. But Paul showed us the way – not by our might, not by our power, but by His Spirit. Trusting in Christ is our only way to live with that kind of confidence in God and His plan.

Genesis 22:9-14 Video Devotional

“When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”” (Genesis 22:9-14)

If you are looking for an obvious reference to Jesus in the Old Testament, this one should be about the clearest. The setup to the story has quite the makeup for a scandalous situation – after all, this is the one true God who is asking His most faithful follower to sacrifice His only son (who God earlier promised to Him). What seems like a horrific test of a servant is not what it seems – if you have a little higher perspective.

Just to clear any doubts, God never intended to let Abraham kill Isaac. It was never about that; yes, God was challenging Abraham’s trust, but at the same time God was giving Abraham (and us through scripture) a glimpse into the real sacrifice. We see this in verse 14, “Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

It is commonly accepted that Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac happened on Mt Moriah. That hill also happens to be the same place that King David purchased from Auranah the Jebusite to sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord (2 Samuel 24:18-25). This is significant because the explanation of that passage in 2 Samuel is describing what the true king will be (hint: prophet, priest and king). Even more crucial is that this same hill is also known as Golgotha, or Calvary. This hill that Abraham almost sacrificed his son, but with the provision of the ram, Abraham called that hill “the Lord will provide”, is the very hill that Jesus died on taking punishment for our sins.

The Lord provided on that hill with the words “it is finished” the salvation for everyone who believes. Isaac was a glimpse of the coming rescuer, our Messiah. This is a clear and direct promise to Jesus and foreshadowing of the cataclysmic event that would be required for our salvation. Hebrews says that the blood of culls and goats is not enough to take away the sins of the world (Hebrews 10). Jesus was, and is, and will always be, enough.

James 1:26-27 Video Devotional

“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:26-27)

There are 3 churches in California filing suit against the Governor over the “right to congregate”. Pastors have been arrested for holding church services and some churches have been absolutely devastated by COVID-19 because they continued to hold services. As people begin to push and long to get back to normal life, this question and argument will only intensify. What to do?

I pose to you today the age old question for Christians – are my rights more important than someone else’s? Do I hold onto my rights or lay them down for another? We see Christ’s example in Philippians 2. Let me challenge you today that there is no righteous indignation toward China or the Wuhan province for the outbreak of this virus. What happened, happened and it does not one any good to dwell or blame.

Instead, I entreat you to pray for them – lift them up to God and ask that He would save them through Christ. Pray that He would use this pandemic for His glory and to spread His gospel across the globe. Pray that the gospel would be as contagious as COVID-19! Then ask how you can participate in the sufferings of Jesus – maybe there is something you don’t need (or a right you don’t need to hold on to) that can make it easier for someone else to meet Jesus.

Any thoughts? I would love to hear how you are processing this conundrum between getting back to normal life and staying extra cautious for the sake of others. Have a great afternoon!

Philippians 2:19-30 Video Devotional

“I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.

I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.” (Philippians 2:19-30)

“Louis Mobley, founder of IBM’s Executive School in 1956, emphatically argued that the most important question that every organization must continually ask is: “What is the business of the business?” In other words, what do we stand for? What is our mission and reason for being? Why are we in business at all? Does our mission and our values deserve an all-in response from our colleagues, customers, and stakeholders?” (

I heard many times growing up that if something is not worth putting all your effort into it, then it isn’t worth doing at all. Why try a little? If you want to be successful, you have to put in all you’ve got. That has been and is a solid axiom for being successful in this world. It also has merit in the spiritual realm. Statistics show that “most successful Christian churches are not “Christian light” churches—churches that have lowered standards in order to lower the barrier to entry. Instead it is the “all-in” churches that are thriving.” (

Timothy and Epaphroditus went all-in for Jesus. Paul’s specific mentioning of them in today’s section make that clear. It also fits with the theme that has been evident throughout our reading thus far, that a life participating with Christ is an all-in life and is the best way for us to be fully connected with Christ through the Spirit. Jesus went all-in, after all, He gave up EVERYTHING to be with us. Paul followed suit and so did these two gentlemen.

What does going all-in look like to you? Have you seen someone go all-in fro Jesus lately? What did that look like? Please comment and let us know.