Panic gripped him. Thoughts came at him in a jumble. His knees weakened. Only a few words made sense to his shocked brain.
He jumped from the bed in the side room where he had been sleeping, and ran to the cells. He skidded to a stop in the doorway. He could see his fate in the flickering torchlight. All the doors to the cells were opened.
All the prisoners had escaped.
He fell to his knees and pulled out his sword. This would mean his death. A horrible, painful death meant as punishment. Killing himself would be more merciful. Besides, he had failed. He deserved to die.
Just as he was about to plunge the sword into his heart, a voice stopped him. "Do not harm yourself. We are all here." Trembling, he stood up. Calling for help with the lights, he rushed to the voice that had stopped him.
It belonged to the men of God.
God...had saved him.
Based on Acts 16:25-34
"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, 'Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.' And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' And they said, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.' And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God." Acts 16:25-34
I just keep thinking about this jailer. He had locked Paul and Silas up, was loyal to the cause, and then all of a sudden commits his life to Jesus.
He recognized that God had saved his life, so he gave his life to God. A life for a life. It's as simple as that.
The jailer thought his life was over. He thought he was dead meat because he was sure all the prisoners had escaped. However, God kept the prisoners right there in their cells. God saved the jailer's life. So the jailer dedicated his life to God.
I know that God has saved my life. Again and again. Despite all my screw ups and selfishness. I know that Jesus gave His life for me, died for me. I owe Him everything. So I'm going to live my life for Him. Each day, each moment, each decision, I make is His.
If you recognize what God has done for you, and you want to do something about it, be like the jailer. When he thought he was about to lose his life, he really gained it.
V. Joy Palmer