Acts 16:16 16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by afemale slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. Sheearned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 Shefollowed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, ―These men are servants ofthe Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.‖ 18 Shekept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that heturned around and said to the spirit, ―In the name of Jesus Christ Icommand you to come out of her!‖ At that moment the spirit left her. 19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money wasgone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into themarketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before themagistrates and said, ―These men are Jews, and are throwing our cityinto an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans toaccept or practice.‖
Acts 16 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, andthe magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten withrods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were throwninto prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard themcarefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in theinner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singinghymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that thefoundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prisondoors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 Thejailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drewhis sword and was about to kill himself because he thought theprisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, ―Don’t harmyourself! We are all here!‖
Acts 16 29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell tremblingbefore Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out andasked, ―Sirs, what must I do to be saved?‖ 31 They replied, ―Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you willbe saved—you and your household.‖ 32 Then theyspoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others inhis house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer tookthem and washed their wounds; then immediately he andall his household were baptized. 34 The jailer broughtthem into his house and set a meal before them; he wasfilled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
Acts 16 35 When it was daylight, the magistrates senttheir officers to the jailer with the order:―Release those men.‖ 36 The jailer told Paul,―The magistrates have ordered that you andSilas be released. Now you can leave. Go inpeace.‖ 37 But Paul said to the officers: ―They beat uspublicly without a trial, even though we areRoman citizens, and threw us into prison. Andnow do they want to get rid of us quietly? No!Let them come themselves and escort us out.‖
Acts 16 38 The officers reported this to themagistrates, and when they heard that Pauland Silas were Roman citizens, they werealarmed. 39 They came to appease themand escorted them from the prison,requesting them to leave the city. 40 AfterPaul and Silas came out of the prison, theywent to Lydia’s house, where they met withthe brothers and sisters and encouragedthem. Then they left.
Key Observations• God’s university of learning who God is and who we are in Christ. This is a life long university and each year and each challenge is to progress us in our understanding of God and deepens our relationship with him.• There are times in our life that even when we are doing what God wants, we still face persecution, and its how we face, react and respond from God’s perspective that matters
Key Observations• God’s provision and grace is sufficient for you as you move through the challenges and storms you face. God always has a solution…• Paul and Silas consistent trust and faith in God even after being beaten and thrown into the depths of prison• Its easy to sing praise and thanksgiving when everything is going well, what about when its not..do we have a stinking attitude or do we press in and praise His name no matter what happens
Key Observations• When God provides breakthroughs he does it for you and also those connected to you. Paul and Silas shekels and prison doors open but so was others around them• The jailer taught he blew his job and was ready to take his own life and Paul stopped him, as the jailer thought that everyone had escaped from prison and he had failed and lost everything….all hope was gone
Key Observations• Paul restored the hope of the jailer and he responded by asking the question ―what must I do to be saved‖• God provided the opportunity for Paul and Silas to share the good news and that salvation is for the jailer and his household, because Paul saved him from taking his own life• Meet the needs of people opens up opportunities for God moments to happen
Key Observations• The jailer and his whole household was saved and baptised immediately• God’s transformation from hopeless to joy and celebration for the jailer and his household• Paul and Silas knew that the magistrates had done wrong as they were punished as Jews but the were Romans.
Key Observations• Even when they were granted freedom they insisted on justice….magistrates had to escort them out of the prison• Credibility and Integrity was restored and witnessed by getting the magistrates to escort them from prison• Paul and Silas before they left gathered together with other believers and encouraged them before they left…how do we leave people after….encouraged?
Consider – When we Understand• God has given us citizenship of His Kingdom – (1 Peter 2: 9-10) – 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.• God has given us authority to reign in this earth – Matthew 28 :18 – 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, ―All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. – Luke 9:1 – When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, – Luke 10:19 – 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
Consider – When we understand• God always provides a solution for us (The crossing of the Red Sea, Mosses held up his staff and parted the Red Sea)• God has given us the Holy Spirit to be our guide• God promises that His grace is sufficient for me – (2 Corinthians 12:9) – But he said to me, ―My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.‖ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Perspective• How do we view our challenges (career, finance, relationships, children, ministry, business, recreation, health, education)?• Obedience to God or its all about Me?• Is God our solution or problem?• Should I praise Him in my suffering?• Should I care for others as I am drowning in mine?• Should I trust God or my own instincts?• Can I have dreams and goals and expect God to provide the way forward and solutions?
Perspective• Should I spend time with God when I have so much to do?• Should I withhold from God when He has given everything?• Should I serve or be served, should I be a master or a servant?• Can I a leader be a servant at the same time?• Is God interested in me and my life and problems?• Can I be all that God wants me to be?
Summary• When we understand our position, we can reign on this earth• When we get a new perspective of God, we can overcome and rule• We are children and servants of the Most High God with the privilege and responsibility• We can trust him with our life and rely on His grace which he promised is sufficient for us
Summary• We are of His world to impact this world• When we care for others, opportunities for sharing Jesus will increase• We can encourage and build one another to understand and recognise the presence and power of God that the world needs• We should stir the gifts within us to serve Him and others• We should be bold and courageous in the Lord because of our relationship and citizenship in Christ
The challenge• Wake up and become wise in the things of God• View the situations you are facing in God’s perspective• Be strong in the Word and prayer• Seek for opportunities to help others and in sharing Jesus• Increase the Kingdom of God as he uses you to pray, heal, deliver, share, impart, build His house here on earth
Ministry• Non Believers – Accept Jesus today• Believers that have stray away from God• Believers that has not been baptised• Believers needing strength and courage to face the world• Believers needing healing and restoration• Believers wanting a new start in their relationship with God