Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10, 2009

"The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks." Acts 16:22-24
What was Paul and Silas' offense that aroused such an aggressive action against them?
They were preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
How would you have responded to the severe treatment they received?
Here's what Paul and Silas did:
"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them." Acts 16:25
Wow! That's impressive! Here they are locked up in maximum security with their hands and feet confined in stocks and their bodied covered with bruises and cuts from their flogging. What are they doing? They are having a praise service!
Rather than being focused on the misery of their own captivity, they rejoice in the fact that they have a captive audience! And the verse says that the other prisoners were, indeed, listening. It is one thing to preach the Gospel but it is quite another to practice it! Hearing the truth of God's Word is powerful, seeing it lived out is transformational!
I can't honestly say that I would have been singing and praying had I been in their place. But fortunately, they must have been better singers than I am because if it had been me singing they would have come in and beat me again to shut me up.
What happened next shows the power of prayer and praise.
"Suddenly there was such a 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
Wow! Incredible! Talk about jailhouse rock! When was the last time your praise racked the house?
What has you bound today? Is life beating you up and stripping you of your hope and joy? Does everything seem to be going wrong even though you are doing right?
Let Paul and Silas remind you of the power of prayer and praise. Have you prayed today? Are you praising Him? Can you trust Him to rock your world?