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  • Bishop Keith Butler

From Foe to Friend

Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:29-31)


When Paul and Silas were miraculously released, it was brought to the attention of the jailor who had ordered them beaten, thrown into the darkest part of the prison, and chained up. Paul and Silas could have had animosity toward this man, but they didn’t. Once they were freed, they didn’t run away or attack their jailor, they stood still and found an opportunity for God to show His love in the middle of a difficult situation. Because of the miracle and Paul’s and Silas’s act of love, the jailor came to them trembling. He had seen the power of God manifest in the deepest darkest dungeon, and it caused him to fall down in front of Paul and Silas while crying out, “Sirs.” He greeted with respect and honored those he had mistreated earlier. One lesson we can learn here is that the anointing and power of God will make a name for you. You don’t need to try to do that on your own.


The jailer continued, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul simply gave him the gospel message: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Jesus is the only way to the Father. There is no other name under Heaven by which anyone can be saved.


The final three words of this verse are shocking because Paul said something that he could not have known naturally. He told the jailor this salvation was not just available to him but to his whole house. How did Paul know the jailor had a family? Paul was operating in one of the nine gifts of the spirit called a word of knowledge. God showed Paul how to minister to this particular man at the moment. Miracles happen when we give room for the Holy Spirit to minister despite difficult circumstances.


Practical Application – God can use you in the worst of situations to minister to those who have injured you. Instead of hating them, pray that God will open a door for His power to manifest through you to see them changed.


Joshua 24:15; Romans 16:7

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