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Releasing the Shackles

(1)

Sermon shared by Gordon Curley

August 2008
Summary: Releasing the Shackles. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)
Denomination: Brethren
Audience: General adults
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decomposed it; if it was genuine, the gold was unaffected.



Quote:

“There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of one candle....”



Paul and Silas:


• Refused to let the darkness of their circumstances;
• Put out the light of Christ in their hearts and minds.

• It may have been midnight in the jail;
• But Paul & Silas had the light of Christ to illuminate them.

• They may have been bound by shackles,
• But their spirits were certainly free!

• Prayer and praise are powerful weapons;
• God responded by sending an earthquake to shake up the prison.



(3). The owners are imprisoned by their own greed (vs 19:


• These owners do not care about the girl’s well-being,
• They are not concerned about exploiting her and making a profit off her.

• They certainly are not pleased by the fact she is now mentally whole and well.
• They care only for their wallets! They are imprisoned by their greed.



Ill:
• Leo Tolstoy once wrote a story about a successful peasant farmer;
• Who was not satisfied with his lot. He wanted more of everything.


One day he received a novel offer.


• For 1000 rubbles, he could buy all the land he could walk around in a day.
• The only catch in the deal was that he had to be back at his starting point by sundown.

• Early the next morning he started out walking at a fast pace.
• By midday he was very tired, but he kept going, covering more and more ground.

• Well into the afternoon;
• He realized that his greed had taken him far from the starting point.

• He quickened his pace and as the sun began to sink low in the sky,
• And he began to run,

• He knew that if he did not make it back by sundown;
• The opportunity to become an even bigger landholder would be lost.
• As the sun began to sink below the horizon he came within sight of the finish line.
• Gasping for breath, his heart pounding,

• He called upon every bit of strength left in his body
• And he just managed to stagger across the line just before the sun disappeared.

• He immediately collapsed, blood streaming from his mouth.
• And in a few minutes he was dead.

• Afterwards, his servants dug a grave.
• It was not much over six feet long and three feet wide.

• The title of Tolstoy’s story was:
• How Much Land Does a Man Need?



Quote:

• When someone asked J.D. Rockerfeller how much does it take to satisfy a man;
• Her replied “A little bit more than you have”.



Twice in this story (verses 16&19) we are told how the men viewed the girl:


• She was nothing more than a money making machine;
• And they would make sure she stayed that way.



(4). The magistrates are imprisoned by their
tradition, pride and prejudice (vs 20-23).


• The owners of the slave girl win their appeal;
• By playing the race card against Paul & Silas. In verse 20 they say "They are Jews,".

• In verse 21: They appeal to the magistrates sense of tradition and custom.
• "They are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or
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