But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. ~Acts 16:28
From the moment a little child is able to crawl, his entire life revolves around being safe and careful. When an unskilled novice first learns how to use sharp instruments or a firearm, the one teaching him will typically tell the student, “Don’t hurt yourself.” This morning, we see Paul shouting out a command to a man who thought that the only way out of a bad situation was by suicide. Paul strongly told this man, “Do thyself no harm.” Would you consider a practical exhortation from this word of caution?
Do thyself no harm through the exercise of sin.
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,” I John 2:1. All of us are in a constant daily battle with sin. The evil one has his fiery darts aimed at us to entice us into a temptation that can ensnare us. All sin is damaging and hurtful It breaks our fellowship with God. It leads to our defeat. It injures our testimony for Christ. It is defiling and contaminating. Living with unconfessed sin hinders our prayers. Continuing in sin makes us spiritually weak and powerless. Don’t hurt yourself by living in sin!
Do thyself no harm through the evasion of the Spirit.
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption,” Eph. 4:30. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer at the moment of salvation. He is our Comforter and Teacher. However, life in the Spirit is affected by how we treat this blessed relationship. The Holy Spirit can be resisted, quenched, and grieved. When we don’t give preeminence to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are setting ourselves up for major failure. We wind up walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit. We are under the control of spiritual sins that affect others around us. We become powerless and spiritually impotent. We lose our joy and are miserable. Do thyself no harm by grieving the Holy Spirit!
Do thyself no harm through the elimination of self.
The Philippian jailer was overcome by the worst fear ever in his life. If any prisoner under his watch escaped, his life would be forfeited for theirs. His immediate thought was to take his own life to escape the problem. The devil works very hard to try to convince us that life is not worth living, or the best way to deal with difficult problems is by harming ourselves. God calls out and says, “Do thyself no harm.” Remember, God loves you and you have a purpose in life he wants to accomplish. “It is God which worketh in you, both to do will and do of his good pleasure.” Do thyself no harm!
Do thyself no harm through the exclusion of salvation.
In Heb. 2:3, the writer asks us a sobering question: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” The worst harm a person can do himself is to say “no” to God’s invitation to salvation. To refuse to receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith as Savior is to say you would rather remain under condemnation and spend all of eternity in hell. Salvation is the free gift of God and available to all who call on the name of the Lord. God wants you to be saved from your sins. As Paul told this jailer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,” do thyself no harm by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
Life is fragile. Exercise caution and prudence in your planning and decision making. God’s will is God’s best for you. Don’t take matters into your own hands. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding.” Hear the words of the Lord this morning: “Do thyself no harm!”
Have a circumspect God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Luke 21-22