Thursday, March 1, 2012
By Odon Bulamba (summary only) 19th February 2012
A door is very important. A house that only has an open space where the door should be is not very good because anyone can come in or out. A house that has no opening to get in or out is also not good because when there is a fire, we use the door to escape. In the Bible it talks about Jesus being the door which is very true but today we are going to talk about another door which we will read in Acts 5 and 16.
In Acts 5, the religious authorities were against the apostles teaching because people were leaving them and were putting their trust in the teaching of the apostles. The religious authorities were jealous and decided to put the apostles under arrest. In those days, being under arrest meant going to jail.
In order to get into prison you have to go through a door and it’s locked behind you. In those days if someone escaped prison, the maker of the jail would be killed along with the prison guards that were on at the time of the escape so people made sure no one could escape because they feared death.
One night while the apostles were in jail, an angel of the Lord came down without opening doors. The guards were there protecting the prison but the next morning the apostles were gone. The angel said to the apostles, “I’m coming to redeem you so you can preach the gospel”. The angel wasn’t giving them freedom so they could see their family or to do their own plans but to share the gospel and the first thing that Peter did after being released was to preach the gospel. If you had escaped from prison would you go somewhere everybody will see you doing the very thing that put you there in the first place or will you go and hide yourself?
God knows your situation, He knows what you are crossing. Yesterday you were free but today you are locked up with maybe sadness or maybe disappointment or maybe you were someone who was sincere but today lies have locked you up and you keep telling lies day after day and slowly, slowly you are in prison and you can’t stop telling lies or maybe you can’t stop stealing. Maybe you are locked in a character that doesn’t please God.The one who keeps the key to that door is satan and he is extremely evil and keeps you locked up to stop you from being a good person for God.
Some of your behaviours lock you in. In what cell are you?
There is maximum security and minimum security in prisons in NZ. In jail there is another system and people use words and signs that are not used outside of prison and people who are alike will associate with each other and support each other. In the jail of satan there is also another system which is different to God’s system. For example, when you don’t respect your husband, you’ll start to associate with people who will give you the wrong advice. And your brain will give you the worst advice. Satan will pump you with ideas and you start to raise yourself up and believe you are better than others, even better than God.
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were in jail and around midnight they started to sing and pray… then suddenly the jail started to shake (an earthquake). Would you keep singing? When you are in prison or a slave of satan – your singing and your prayers will release you from that prison.
How often do I pray or sing to adore God? How often do I tell God about my life, my attitude? It’s very sad if I only pray for others but never pray for my own weaknesses; we have to prepare ourselves first and then pray for others.
Usually we sleep at midnight and our singing is snoring but Paul and Silas were in a big challenge so they prayed and sang. We have to also recognise when we are weak, when we are in a bad situation and then pray and tell God, “I’m in this jail of sin” and sing so that God will open that prison cell and you can come out.
In Acts 16, the doors not only opened for Paul and Silas but all the doors in the prison were opened. The guard wanted to kill himself because he was sure everybody would escape but Paul said, “I’m here”. Many people will say they are waiting for Jesus to come down to tell them to stop their behaviour or to transform their life. It doesn’t work that way, we have to make a step, we have to make a decision. Are we ready?
Jesus was once in a tomb but the door was opened and He came out alive. We can also come out of our jail and come back to life. Are we ready to step out?
Maybe you have a problem with finances, maybe you can’t pay your bills and there are daily challenges. Present them to God without fear. Maybe your family are not saved yet and you need to see them in the Kingdom of God. It’s a big challenge.
Pray with me, you know your situation, your challenges, pray not only for your sin and your challenges but pray also for the lives of those around you, your country and other countries and ask God to open the door to come out.