673. The “Must-Do” List

“Have you noticed that Ricky never writes down our orders?” Stan asked one morning as Ricky left our table.

“He’s good at remembering,” I commented.

“Not me,” Stan replied.  “I have to write down most everything or I will forget.  Even when I do write it down, I am  apt to forget where I put the list.  As they say, it’s a good thing God attached my head!”

“I’m not much of a list maker,” I said, “maybe I should be.”

“Well,” Stan responded, “this brings up an important point for me that there are certain “must-do’s, things not to be forgotten, that are listed in the Bible.  I focused on one of them earlier this morning.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“It’s in the Book of Acts,” Stan replied. “where Paul and Silas were in Philippi.”  They got in trouble with the authorities for proclaiming Jesus as the Christ.  After being beaten, they got thrown into jail.”

“And that was a must-do?” I asked.

“No,” Stan replied, “that came a little later when there was an earthquake that caused the jail doors to open and the prisoners’ chains to fall off.”

“So they escaped from jail?” I said.  “That was the must-do?”

“No,” Stan said, “they didn’t escape; they chose to stay in the jail.  And when the guy in charge of the jail saw that, he was so impressed with what Paul and Silas had done — or not done — that he brought them out of jail and asked the most important “must-do” question that can be asked.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“The jailer,” Stan replied, “asked them, ’What must I do to be saved?’”

“So,” I said, “that was the ‘must-do’ question.  What was the answer?”

“Believe in the Lord Jesus,” Stan replied.  “That was the ‘must-do’!”

Continuing, he added, “Not only was that a ‘must-do’ for the jailer, it was for me as well.  Thankfully, I was eventually brought to the point in my life where I asked that question, got the answer, and I did what changed everything.  I believed.”

“A real ‘must-do’,” I replied.

“You’re right, my friend,” Stan said, “for me, for you, and for everyone else!”

_____________________________

And when the jailer had been roused out of sleep and had seen the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here!”  And he called for lights and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, . . . .”  Acts of the Apostles 16:27 – 31.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for bringing me to the point of asking, “What must I do to be saved?”  And thank you for having the answer so that I could choose to be saved from being eternally separated from you by believing in your Son.  Thank you that I will one day be in your eternal presence and that, while you keep me here, I have the opportunity to pursue knowing you and Jesus in an ever-deepening relationship.  Please help me follow every step of your lead into the relationship you intend for me.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  Is believing in Jesus no longer on your “Must-do” list because you have accepted God’s free and gracious provision for salvation?  If that is still on your list, why?  If you have accepted the gift of salvation, what differences in your life have occurred as the result of that?  Are there people in your life who need to know about the “must-do” covered by this reading?  If so, what does God want you to do about that?  What are you going to do about it?

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