Explore the Bible Lesson for January 7: A Changed Family
December 28 2017 by James Zik, associate pastor, Beach Road Baptist Church, Southport

Focal passage: Acts 16:22-34
It was a cold, wet day in Boston, Mass. We had just finished our mission trip assessment the night before and were heading back home to North Carolina. 
As we got into the van for our commute to Logan Airport, I headed toward the back of the van so my team could sit closer to the front. Noticing that no one took the front seat, I got up and asked the driver if I could sit next to him. 
My goal was simple. Knowing we would spend the next 20 minutes together, I wanted to eventually steer our inevitable conversation toward the gospel.
As Paul and Silas were sitting in their prison cells, feet fastened, recovering from the beating they had just taken at the hands of the Romans, they began praising God. As the other prisoners listened to their prayers and hymns, God moved through an earthquake and the chains that were once holding them in place loosened. 
Fearing for his own life because the prisoners had presumably escaped, the jailer resolved to take his own life. And then Paul stepped in. 
He shared the life-changing message of the gospel, and the Philippian jailer, along with his whole family, was saved. 
While in less-than-ideal earthly circumstances, Paul and Silas had an opportunity – an opportunity to share a life-changing message. 
Every day you and I come in contact with people that are either lost or saved. Dead or alive! God wants us to use our influence to point others toward Him. 
After some small talk about his family and where he was from, I finally asked one of my favorite questions to transition the conversation to the spiritual realm, “What do you believe about Jesus?” 
Giving me the “Jesus was a good person” answer, I then began explaining to him that Jesus was God and had the authority to forgive sins. 
I wish I could tell you this man was saved like the Philippian jailer, but it illustrates my point. 
I had an opportunity, and my job was to share. As we begin the New Year, commit to using your influence to lead others to Him.

12/28/2017 11:40:25 AM by James Zik, associate pastor, Beach Road Baptist Church, Southport | with 0 comments

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