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To… Listen | DECIDE | Acts 16:11-21, 25-34

You and I… We need to DECIDE to listen. I want to be so tuned into God that I hear Him, and we’ve got to get quiet don’t we? We’ve got to open his Word like we’re doing right now so we can hear from Him. I’m so glad you’re here. Let’s jump into Acts chapter 16 now, shall we?

Show Notes:

  • Romans 10:17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (NKJV)
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This thing on? Hi, I’m Erica, your host for the Bible for Busy People, and today, what do you say ou and I decide to listen? I read a story recently about an 11-year-old boy who recently got to hear for the first time, thanks to some special therapy, and I got to thinking about how every sound must be precious to him. He even talked about the snip snip of his barber’s scissors, and the cars buzzing by. I mean of course he was excited to hear his daddy’s voice, but every sound he said sounded good, and I want to have those kind of ears. I want to be so tuned into God that I hear when he’s trying to download a message to me and to do that, we got to get quiet don’t we? We’vegot to open his Word like we’re doing right now so we can hear from him.

Prayer is you and I talking to God. Reading the Bible like we get to do together, by the way thank you for being here, is God talking back to us. So join me now in the Book of Acts. We’re going to turn to chapter 16. A little background: Acts was written by Luke. He was a doctor and he was one of the missionaries that traveled around with the apostle Paul and others spreading the good news that Jesus died to save us and rose again. So let’s pick up the story, mid adventure, Acts 16 verse 11.

We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis. 12 From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days.13 On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 14 One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. 15 She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed.

Okay. What I love about this story is its simplicity. Listen to that as she listened to us, to Luke and to Paul, share the good news of what Jesus did for her… The Lord opened her heart. Do you see what happens when you decide to open the Bible? The Lord wants to communicate his love and care for you, and the way he does it is through his Word. It is a love letter, and all we got to do is receive that love that he offers us, and it starts with our ears, with listening to what he has to say. This is why I love this podcast because you and I are hearing the Word of God. The Bible says, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. I don’t know where that is in the Bible, but I’ll put in the show notes. You are hearing God’s Word and you are increasing your faith. Do you realize what you’re doing by listening to this podcast? Okay, I want to dive down deep again into Acts chapter 16. This time we’re going to pick up the story in verse 16, because somebody else is going to hear the good news now and respond.

One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.” 18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her. 19 Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. 20 “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. 21 “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.”

I want to pitch a small tent here because did you notice that the demon inside that slave girl listened to Paul, because he cast out that demon in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names. There is nothing more powerful. No one more powerful than that name. Just saying it out loud, say it now. I challenge you. Jesus. And you’re going to feel this little peace come in, don’t you? I just did. Okay. And by the way, if you didn’t feel it, there’s nothing wrong with you. Sometimes faith has nothing to do with feelings. Alright, we’re going to skip down to verse 25 now for the sake of time, but just know that Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail.

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God,…

And catch this:

…and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! 27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!” 29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33 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. 34 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.

Oh, maybe you’re wondering right now, maybe you’re thinking, “Wow, maybe I could become a Christian.” You can decide today to follow the Lord Jesus. Here’s what you need to do. I’ll echo the words of Paul across time and space. Believe in the Lord Jesus and you’ll be saved along with everyone in your household. Oh, back when I was 16, I think it was like 1992, my Uncle Joe told me this Good News and I was saved and my whole family has become Christian, and it can happen in your heart and in your family too. Until next time, you are loved.

Thank you for making time for the Bible for Busy People today. If being part of this community is a blessing to you, it’s super easy to share this podcast with someone you love. We’re all about spreading the hope of Jesus like butter. So, if you’ve got a moment to write a review, boy, we’d really appreciate that. Maybe you need a little prayer today, or you are ready to take that next step with God. I invite you to check out our show notes. You’re going to find lots of encouragement there. This podcast is one branch on a tree called Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and thrive in God’s purpose for your life. If you’ve got a pulse, you’ve got a purpose.

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