Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~Acts 15:26
As we are in the summer season, it is also fire season. In forests, campgrounds, or areas where there is very dry vegetation, there are signs put up to indicate the degree of fire danger. The brighter the color, the greater the possibility of a fire hazard. The word “hazard” indicates a potential risk or a possible peril. The Bible speaks of Judas and Silas as being men who hazarded their lives for the Lord Jesus Christ. They accepted the dangers, the risks, and the perils associated with being a servant of the Lord. By doing so, they became a fire hazard in a good way for our Lord. Let us see this in the life of Silas.
We see his fame.
“Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren.” Silas attained a good name and reputation in the church at Jerusalem. He was esteemed by the people. The word “chief” implies someone significant. He was a spiritual leader. He was a man with a godly and spiritual influence. He was not competitive or combative with the pastor and other men of good, spiritual reputation. Then, he exhorted as a prophet. In v. 32, he was known as a prophet who encouraged and built up the people through his preaching. Interestingly, his name means “a lover of words.” He was a man who steered people to Jesus.
We see his fire.
The Greek word for “hazarded” also means “to deliver up,” “to give up,” or “to surrender.” It is the word used to describe how God delivered Jesus up for us all in Romans 8:32. It is the word used in Galatians 2:20 where Jesus gave Himself for us. It is the word used in Ephesians 5:2, 25 to describe how God gave Jesus for our sins. Surrender is when you give the keys of your life to God. Surrender is when you give God a piece of paper with your signature on the bottom and let God write out His job description for you. Surrender is Jesus giving His life on the cross for every sinner! A surrendered person is so full of Jesus that there is a fire raging in his soul! Silas had a fire that was influential. His fire moved people to Jesus! Silas had a fire that was insatiable. Hardships, travel, beatings, imprisonment, rejection, hatred, and impoverishment could not quench his fire. He had a fire that the devil could not extinguish.
We see his faithfulness.
“And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.” After Paul and Barnabas parted ways, Paul needed a new associate to travel with him and assist him in planting churches. Paul received the recommendation of the church at Antioch to take Silas. The key criteria used for his selection was his faithfulness. The word “recommended” is also the same Greek word used for “hazarded.” Silas was totally reliable. He was faithful in his preaching, when he was imprisoned, when he stayed behind to disciple the new believers, when he traveled with the other members of the mission team, and when things were tough for the team. Faithful people love Jesus! He loved Jesus, he loved Paul, he loved sinners, and he loved the churches that he helped start and develop.
We see his fruit. Follow the life of Silas, and there is much fruit for the Lord. We see fruit in salvations, in his sufferings, and in the startup of new churches. God used him to stir up new fires for the sake of the gospel. He was a fire hazard against Satan and a sinful society. Like Silas, we can be someone who starts fires in the hearts of others.
Have a blazing God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 59-63