Are we understanding our authority as Christians in His name? There is no other name but Jesus by which men (and women) can be saved.
Paul and Silas are on their continued journey going to the place of prayer when they were met by a slave girl, who had a spirit, by which she predicted the future. She earned much money for her owners by fortune-telling.
This girl was following Paul and Silas around telling everyone, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” (Acts 16: 17) She kept this up for several days, shouting, until Paul became so troubled that he turned around toward her and commanded the spirit to come out of her, in the name of Jesus! At that moment the spirit left her.
Well, the owner of the slave girl realized that she would not be making any more money for him, so he seized Paul and Silas and had them thrown in prison, by the local magistrate. Before they were thrown in prison, they were severely flogged.
Again, how did they respond? They sang praises to God and prayed while in the prison cell. The other prisoners were listening.
- People are watching and listening, even if you don’t know it.
“Suddenly, there was violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open and everybody’s chains came loose.” (Acts 16: 26)
- Our God opens doors and breaks the chains.
- God takes what the enemy meant for evil and turns it for good.
When the jailer woke up and saw that the prison doors were open, thinking the prisoners escaped, he drew his sword and was about to take his own life, when Paul shouts, “No! Don’t harm yourself. We are all here.”
The jailer fell rushing to Paul and Silas’s feet saying, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16: 30) God opened that door pretty wide. Jesus is the open door!
Paul responded to the jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved–you and your household.” (Acts 16: 31)
Watch what happens next! I have read this before several times, but I missed this: “At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.” (Acts 16: 33)
Remember, they had just been flogged the night before. Their open wounds were fresh, tender, and extremely painful. It doesn’t stop there with the jailer. He graciously brings them into his house, feeds them and he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God, he and his whole family.
- Perhaps, the wounds of Paul and Silas helped to heal the wounds of an unsaved family. Now brought together as believers.
- We will never know, until we get to heaven, the wounds that we incurred, may have been used to heal another.
Morning came and the officers told the jailer to release the men. Paul and Silas let the officers know that they were Roman citizens. Beating a Roman citizen was illegal, let alone beating without a trial. So the officers escorted them out, appeasing them, requesting them to leave the city. They left and went back to Lydia’s house, probably ate again, and encouraged the brothers and told them what had happened. Then they left. (Taken from Actis 16: 16-40, Paraphrased)
IS IT TIME TO LEAVE? Job, probably wanted his friends to leave, but they stuck around adding “insult to injury.” Elihu is still on his bandwagon, now addressing his words to the other friends. He accuses Job of empty talk: “So Job opens his mouth with empty talk; without knowledge he multiplies words.” (Job 35: 16)
We are almost at the end of the entire book, and nowhere do I see Job’s friends praying with him! (Taken from Job 35, Paraphrased)
Disobedience brings forth more captivity for the Israelites. Until he sends Ehud as their deliverer. After Ehud dies, again Israel rebels. But now, here comes the Judge! Deborah, a prophetess, a leader, and a Judge.
Deborah comes and triumphs over the commander of the Canaanite army, Sisera, then celebrates in song. Her command to go take Sisera is this: “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” (Judges 4: 14)
- When the Lord sends us forth, He has already gone before us.
Her song of victory ends with a prayer that the present victory would be the pattern for all future battles against the Lord’s enemies. She prays: “May all your enemies perish O Lord? But may those who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.” (Judges 5: 31)
- The next time you look at the sunrise remember, “For those who fear my name, the Son of Righteousness rises with healing in His wings.” (Malachi 4: 2) (Shared from Judges 4-5, Modified)
UNBROKEN LOVE SERIES
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