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Every good deed does not have a positive outcome instantly.
Sometimes the things you do in life will cause you to be in places that you do not deserve to be.
Sometimes God has to put you in the prisons of life to free someone on the brink of ending their life, doing something detrimental to themselves, or hurting themselves beyond repair.
Paul and Silas found themselves knee deep in ministry when they found themselves in the midst of a trial that would promote some of us to quit the ministry.
It is interesting to note that your freedom in Christ and your praise to God is not location specific.
If the shackles do not exist, the shackles do not exist anywhere.
Does your Christianity tone down depending on the location or the situation?
Are you unapologetically following Christ?
Paul and Silas did not let arrest, incarceration, or brutality from the government stop them from praising God.
This is an interesting perspective, from the viewpoint of Luke the writer, verse 17 states “Following after Paul and us”, therefore we see this event was something he witnessed firsthand.
What is stopping your praise?
What prison are you locked in?
What is beating you up in life?
Some People like Your Chains
Verse 18 and 19 explain that Paul was greatly annoyed at this woman.
Nonetheless understand that even under the control of the demon she properly proclaimed who these men were.
It was not the prophecy that these magistrates were upset with, they were upset when their profit was affected.
When you freedom affects the progress and profits of those who gain from your chains they do not like it.
When you free someone, or help them see the Jesus that can free them everyone is happy.
Some people benefit from you depending on them, and they may benefit by depending on you.
See when that toxic dependence stop the truth comes out.
Freedom is confusing to some people, liberty does not make sense to the person who has been living in shackles.
Paul and Silas were charged with two counts confusion.
“These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews.
Proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or observe being Romans.
Here is the catalyst though.
Sometimes you have to be put in chains to show the power of Christ.
Understand they put them in chains and put in them in the inner most part of the prison because subconsciously they knew the power these men had working inside of them.
They attempted to seal the tomb of a Dead man named Jesus and that did not stop him from being loosed by God.
People that like your chains are usually seen by their contradictory behavior.
They are profiting from a demon possessed girl, but when the demon is removed they proclaim that Paul and Silas are disturbing their city.
The same demon they are profiting from is preaching the same thing as Paul and Silas, but because they profit from the demon they do not do anything to remove it.
When the Chains People Put You in Do Not Work.
Always remember, Jesus told you what you would accomplish.
You might not like the response from people but know that Jesus will provide.
And these signs will accompany those who believe; in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues.
You obedience to God benefits you.
Those with false motives are exposed because your praise and your obedience convicts their false motives and cause them to act irrational at the expense of their own foolishness.
When people cannot shackle your gift, their next goal is to get someone else to control you.
When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely;
When your praise reminds the shackled of how free they could be, they will try to do things that discourage you, by trying to go above and beyond to discourage you from doing what you’ve been doing.
and he, having recieved such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
They threw Paul and Silas in the inner prison.
The inner prison was secure enough to prohibit escape without shackling their feet.
Little to no air circulation
When you Problems Promote Praise
But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and signing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Let’s recap Paul and Silas went from healing a woman, arrested unlawfully, beaten, lacerated backs, body aches and feet in shackles, Thrown in Jail to respond by Praising God.
As they sang praises, the prisoners were listening to them.
Sometimes you have to give thanks for the people in the same prison you are in, because they are not strong enough to praise within their prison.
You might be wondering why some folks are signing, maybe their shackles have them in a place where they can’t.
See Paul and Silas were free to praise God in prison because they knew what it was like to be free.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
True praise will shake your world up, God deserves the praise and sometimes he has to shake some things up so people understand who is in control.
“and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened”.
Your Deliverance Is Not Solely for You
Your deliverance is not only for you but for others who are too shackled to deal with their issues.
The jailer saw that the prison doors opened and he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
It is a special type of freedom when you can walk away and worry about no one but yourself, but you decide to stay because there are people who need saving.
Christianity is not self centered, it is self denial.
The self denial and praise of Paul and Silas pricked this man’s heart to ask what must I do to be saved?
The jailer was not only shook up by the incident but the power of God demonstrated in the earthquake.
Earthquakes shake things up, but they also break down walls that would not fall to begin with.
Paul may never had this chance at conversion if this earthquake never happened.
Sometimes natural disasters in people’s life and providing refuge for them allow you to plant a seed that normally would not be planted.
The jailer’s initial focus was making sure Paul and Silas did not escape, now his focus shifts to understand the God they serve.
Jesus was delivered from the grave to deliver us from sin.
He was confined to that cross, to free us from eternal damnation.
A crown of thorns was placed on his head so that we would be kings and conquer the land of sin.
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