Just simple numbers but they have tremendously powerful significance Just two numbers which mark the time the world has changed – Nine/Eleven (9/11). Since then security at airports now means we have to go through quite a ritual to board any aircraft We now see belts being taken off, shoes removed and for some an explosives residue screening
Security is a big business also at home Security alarms, security film on windows and security screen in front of them! Car makers likewise add many security features to their products to safeguard us – even auto door lock
Then there is the security we try and buy for our health and well being with all manner of insurances
Port Arthur Massacre….Remember the words of the widower Mikac of Port Arthur – his whole family wiped out in just moments! “Don’t take your partner for granted. Don’t take your children for granted. Don’t take tomorrow for granted.”
Today’s text teaches us much about the only security we can really count on… Two guys in an ancient prison facing the possibility of execution
What would you say if I said what these have in common is that they are context of security and joy?!!
- WHAT SECURITY?
- LETTING GOD AND BEING SECURE
- SECURE IN CHRIST
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
2 Corinthians 4 (NIV84)
1Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
2Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.
12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,
14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.
15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Acts 16:16–34 (NIV84)
16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.
17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
19When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.
20They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar
21by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”
22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten.
23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.
24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.
27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.
28But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.
30He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.
33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.
34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.