July 29

Today's Bible Readings:
     Judges 12
     Acts 16
     Jeremiah 25
     Mark 11
''And he brought them out and said, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' So they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household'." (Acts 16:30-31)
            The events of Acts 16:25-30 presents to us a divine appointment and the most significant experience any human being can ever have. Verse 31 gives us the Christian Gospel in a nutshell, and is the essence of why Jesus came. It is the truth behind the spiritual revolution of the first century. It is also the life-changing message for you and others today.         
            It is interesting enough that even though bound in prison, Paul and Silaswere giving praise to God. Even in their chains, they sang hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening. Suddenly, at midnight, an earthquake came, and all of their chains were loosed. When that happened, the guard thought that all had been loosed from prison, but they were still there. Then he asked the question of all questions: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
            When you examine this verse in the original language, you will hear Paul and Silassaying, ''You must believe in and on the Lord Jesus Christ. Take yourself out of your own keeping and place yourself in His keeping, and you will be saved. This truth applies to your household as well." This jailer did believe and led his entire family to Christ. They experienced baptism, great fellowship, and great joy.
            This is still the essence of knowing Jesus and sharing Him with those who need to know Him. This may be simple­minded to some, but this appointment and conversion is at the heart of the New Testament. What does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? It first means to believe He is who He said He was. He is God in the flesh with the power to forgive sin and to turn darkness into light.
            It means to believe that He will do what He said He would do. He will deliver you, not only from Hell, but from the bondage of sin. If that has not happened in your life today, you must take some very simple steps:
Recognize that you are a sinner and your sin separates you from God.
Tumaway from that sin, changing your mind, heart, conversation, and conduct about that sin. The Bible calls it repentance.
Believe that Jesus Christ is who He said He was and will do what He said He would do in your life.
Thank Him for saving you and yield to His total Lordship.
It may be that you have loved ones in your own family who have not yet taken this step of commitment to Christ. This same Biblical truth that assures you of eternity is available to your household as well. Do not wait another day to share with them the truth that has changed your life.
            Switzerland, with its beautiful Swiss Alps, has approximately 7.5 million people in the population. There continues to be rivalry between Protestants and Catholics even this long after the Reformation. Even though the great truths of Scripture have been faithfully expounded by great reformers like Calvin and Zwingli, few today have any interest or understanding of what real Christianity is. What has become the norm in Switzerlandnow is affluence with the accompanying indifference, and a vague religiosity has become the norm. Many who were baptized as children no longer retain any church link, and enrolled membership of Protestants and Catholics has been cut in half in the last 30 years before the turn of the century. We need to pray today that the Swiss may find the true way in Jesus Christ. This will require greater unity, individual congregational outreach to their community, and a growing army of men and women who know how to pray. This can begin with prayer warriors today praying for such an awakening in Switzerland.
''All decays begin in the closet; no heart thrives without much secret converse with God, and nothing will make amends for the want of it."