Reflecting upon that scenario in Philippi, where a group of women had come to faith in Jesus Christ, it was as if God said, “Paul, there is a man in prison who so needs My love. There is a jailer in charge of the high security wing who will respond if someone will go in and shine with the light of Jesus.”
How far are you prepared to go to reach that desperate man? Are you willing to be arrested and imprisoned? If I arrange some dramatic circumstances, are you ready to run the risk of ruining your reputation and being totally misunderstood?
As a consequence of releasing a slave girl from the spirit of a snake, Paul, and his colleague Silas, ended up being flogged and flung into jail.
What a way to live, preaching, being beaten and blooded, marked and chained, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, but being in the place where God wants you to be, no matter what the cost. This involves leadership which is committed and willing to serve. Real leaders are men who are prepared to serve. This one of the qualities which made Jesus Christ such an attractive King and Leader. He was prepared to serve and do the work not even one of the disciples was willing to do. Jesus took the towel and the basin.
The personal price was going to be high for Paul, on this occasion.
Within hours of Paul and Silas being thrown into that Philippian jail, the jailer was reached with the love and forgiveness of God. God touched that man. He was radically transformed.
Faith flowed through the members of his family, bringing them into a newly birthed fellowship with Lydia and her praying women. You can read all the exciting and accurate details in the book of Acts in the New Testament at Chapter nineteen.
Now there was a man to lead whatever work God was doing.
How far are you prepared to go to reach some desperate individual? How willing are you to be treated unfairly, so that Jesus Christ might rescue people from their sin and sins?
This lesson too is simple and clear. When you are sore, know that Jesus can soothe you. When you are ridiculed or mistreated, Jesus sees. When you are down, Jesus can lift you. When you hurt, Jesus can heal you.
Wherever you are, know that Jesus can use you. Leaders must teach this vital truth clearly.
When you are in prison for your faith in Jesus Christ and a consequence of your preaching and teaching, continue to praise. That will not be easy, but then we were never ever promised that the Christian Life would be easy.